Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Multi Crore Cricket Scam

WC seeks CBI probe into ‘embezzlements’

HC issues notice; asks Govt, JKCA, J&K Bank, BCCI to file objections

The Working Committee (WC) of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) has sought registration of FIR and a CBI probe into the recently surfaced multi-crore cricket scam in Kashmir.

 According to advocate Abhinav Sharma, the counsel for the working committee of JKCA, an application was filed before the Jammu wing of the state High Court seeking CBI probe into the scam.

 “In this application, we have prayed that since the names of some political personalities have surfaced in the scam, the police cannot probe the matter impartially and fairly. So we have sought court directions for the CBI enquiry into the matter,” advocate Sharma said.

 Justice Husnain Masoodi, who heard the matter yesterday, issued notices to the state government, JKCA, J&K Bank, and BCCI to file objection within two weeks.

 Advocate Sharma said that the application was filed at a time when the main petition filed by the working committee of the JKCA comprising Avtar Krishan Tickoo, Chaman Lal Chrungoo, M L Nehru and others is pending for disposal before the court.

 In its main petition filed last year, the working committee of the JKCA had challenged the suspension of ML Nehru from the working committee which was stayed by the court later.

 Since the appointment of auditor was made by Mohammad Aslam Goni, the former general secretary of JKCA against the association’s constitution, in its main petition the working committee had also prayed that the audited accounts of the cricket association duly audited by the auditor appointed under the constitution of the JKCA be produced before the High Court.

 The petitioners, according to advocate Sharma, had also sought court to appointment of a receiver, who according to him, would manage the affairs of the cricket association. “We had prayed that since there are financial irregularities and mismanagement in the JKCA, the affairs of the association be managed by the court appointed receiver,” advocate Sharma informed.

 The counsel for the working committee had also furnished a J&K Bank statement from April 2009 to December 2009, which according to advocate Sharma reveals that the office bearers of the JKCA including the former general secretary and the treasurer had withdrawn about Rs 3 Crores by way of self cheques. The working committee had also sought an enquiry into the functioning of JK Bank. The withdrawal of money by way of self cheques was later barred by the High Court, he added.

 Meanwhile, the High Court had allowed the petitioners (working committee of JKC) to hold fresh elections of the office bearers of the JKCA. By virtue of this order, fresh elections were held on June 23, 2011 wherein the office bearers of the association were elected including Dr Farooq Abdullah as the president of JKCA for a term of three years, which according to advocate Sharma was against the constitution of JKCA.

 “Dr Farooq got elected as president, Aslam Goni as chairman and Ehsan Mirza as general secretary for a term of three years while as the constitution of the JKCA says the elections for these posts are valid for one year only. Even there was no amendment made to the constitution of the JKCA prior to these elections,” advocate Sharma said.

 The working committee had later challenged these elections in the court which is pending for disposal. “Meanwhile, another fraud was detected in Khanyar wherein it is said that crores of rupees have been siphoned off. This prompted us to filed the fresh application (CMP) seeking registration of FIR and CBI probe into the matter,” advocate Sharma informed.

 Pertinently, Mohammad Saleem Khan, the then Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Ehsan Mirza the former General Secretary of JKCA are on interim bail which has been extended till April 7.

 Notably, a Special Investigation Team of police has been already formed to probe the matter. However, the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been demanding a probe by the CBI as on March 12, the PDP sought adjournment of normal business in the state Assembly and holding discussion over it.

 The PDP has maintained that there is a need to get the investigation conducted by CBI in the case as has happened in similar nature of allegations outside Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in case of Suresh Kalmadi.

 The police had earlier said that it was Muhammad Aslam Goni the Chairman of JKCA who had lodged the complaint about misappropriation of funds in the Association before it. Later the police conducted raids at several places in connection with the complaint.

 According to reports the alleged fraud was detected when Mirza was summoned by the JKCA earlier who admitted shortfall in the accounts.

 He had been reportedly asked to deposit Rs 1.5 crore in the JKCA accounts by the end of this month.

 A local news agency had quoted J&K Bank Chairman, Mushtaq Ahmad, saying “We are investigating the case. It will take some time. A Bank supervision team is already looking into the matter. I can comment only when they will complete the probe.” 

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