Kejriwal denies making statements about Jaitley
In the defamation suit filed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley, the Delhi High Court today framed issues against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and 5 others. Kejriwal has denied making accusations that were defamatory against Arun Jaitley. Kejriwal had earlier said that his Principal Secretary was targeted to shield Jaitley from being investigated over financial irregularities during his tenure as DDCA chief.
On 12 Nov 2015, Delhi government set up a 3-member committee chaired by Chetan B Sanghi, principal secretary of Vigilance Department to probe complaints against the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Post a CBI raid on Arvind Kejriwal's office on 15 Dec 2015, the Delhi CM claimed that the raid was to recover files related to DDCA scam. The AAP government alleged huge financial irregularities in DDCA during finance minister Arun Jaitley's 13-year-old tenure as its chief. It said that large amounts were siphoned off through fake companies besides other irregularities in team selection.
Suspended BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad made allegations of irregularities in DDCA's functioning as early as in 2012. After the recent DDCA row between Kejriwal and center, Azad went public with his allegations against DDCA.
Kirti Azad released a 28-minute video, accusing DDCA of financial irregularities, including granting contracts to ghost companies. The video by Wikileaks4India and the Sun Star newspaper purportedly show that 14 companies paid by DDCA for renovation works at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium do not exist in the addresses mentioned in the bills. Azad alleged that Jaitley attempted to sweep DDCA irregularities under the carpet.
AAP-led Delhi government announced an inquiry commission headed by former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramaniam to look into alleged corruption in DDCA. The announcement came a month after an AAP government-appointed probe committee recommended suspension of DDCA by the BCCI. Meanwhile, hitting back at Kejriwal for making "false and defamatory" statements against him, Arun Jaitley slapped criminal and civil defamation cases against him.
The three-member panel headed by Chetan Sanghi had published a report with its observations. The findings were regarding embezzlement of funds, money laundering, irregularities relating to memberships and proxy system, over-age fraud and also questioned the role of various DDCA officials The report which was put in public domain nowhere had mentioned Jaitley's name or his direct involvement in any of the issues raised.
The center called the inquiry initiated by Delhi government into alleged corruption in the DDCA as unconstitutional. The Union Home Ministry said the inquiry was illegal because Delhi government does not have jurisdiction to look into the DDCA's affairs. The communication, sent to LG, further said that since Delhi was not a full-fledged state, it does not have power to appoint the probe panel.
Hitting back at the center, Arvind Kejriwal said that the inquiry commission was set up as per Constitutional provisions and Centre's opinion is not binding on Delhi government.
Chetan Sanghi (officer probing DDCA irregularities) wrote to Home Ministry that he was pressed to name a "certain VIP". The BJP commenting on the IAS officer's letter said it had "vindicated" its stance that the Arvind Kejriwal regime was "conspiring to tarnish" Jaitley's reputation. BJP said this "exposed" Kejriwal's "low-level" politics and that Kejriwal had "fallen into his own trap".