Senior BCCI official Ratnakar Shetty, who was on Tuesday banned for five years by the Mumbai Cricket Association, slammed the decision saying it is a personal vendetta and vowed to challenge it legally.
"I have raised an issue at the AGM of the Association pertaining to the misuse of MCA funds and have done nothing wrong," said Shetty in a statement.
"This is a personal vendatta by people who want to make sure that I do not contest the next elections and also because their ego was hurt that the two anti club resolutions proposed by the managing committee had to be taken back by the Chairman after he sensed the mood of the house after I raised the issue on behalf of the members," he said.
"I will fight this kind of undemocratic decisions both within the association and legally," Shetty added.
The seasoned administrator was banned for alleging that some MCA office-bearers could have sold the tickets for the T20 International between India and Pakistan played at Ahmedabad last December in the black market.
"Yes. He has been banned for five years from representing any club under MCA's jurisdiction. It does not prevent him from coming to MCA's premises," MCA president Ravi Savant said.
"We have not prevented him from earning his bread and butter," added Savant.
The ban is effective till June 2, 2018 and Shetty is set to challenge it in a court of law.
Shetty is the BCCI's General Manager, Game Development, and the Board's office is in the same building as the MCA at the Wankhede Stadium.
Savant further added that the ban has been imposed for his allegations against some MCA office-bearers, regarding a December 28 T20 match, which have been found untrue after the association conducted an inquiry.
The decision to ban Shetty, who has been associated with the MCA for several years and served it in the capacity of committee member, secretary, treasurer and vice president, was taken on May 14 by the managing committee.
The committee also gave Shetty additional time to listen to the video recording of the meeting and his allegations and then revert to the MCA, which he did a few days ago.
The letter dated June 2 informing the imposition of the ban was delivered to him today, it is learnt.
Saying that his allegations had caused embarrassment to the MCA's office-bearers, the letter stated that the allegations levelled by Shetty "were found to be baseless on the perusal of documents available in the MCA records as well as subsequent confirmations of concerned members of the sister Association, who requisitioned and accepted the tickets for that particular match and paid for the said tickets."
The letter further stated that Shetty had been given a chance to furnish proof about his allegations with show cause notice and he had replied to it "in a very evasive manner" and did not furnish any proof in respect of public allegations made by him at the AGM.
"After considering the reply given by you, the Managing Committee came to the conclusion that you did not have any specific proof in respect of the allegations of the black marketing of Ahmedabad T20 match tickets by the office bearers of MCA and that the said allegations were baseless, unsubstantiated and false."
Stating that Shetty had been given a chance to hear the audio recording of his statement at the AGM and there was no change in his stand, the two joint secretaries have spelt out that they have been authorised by Savant to inform him of the decision to debar him till June 2, 2018 from participating in any matters pertaining to the activities of the association.
Shetty would not be "permitted to represent any member club of the association, any tournament committee, any sponsor, franchisee, contractor or any person who has any relationship with the Mumbai Cricket Association, contractual or otherwise, during the said period of five years," the letter added.
According to Shetty, MCA sent a request for 150 tickets to the Gujarat Cricket Association, that hosted the game, apparently to be used by the Saurashtra Cricket Association, which had already bought the same number of tickets as its quota as per the BCCI guidelines.
In a communication to the MCA's affiliated clubs, Shetty explained that these tickets were meant for only the members of the association and not for others and the money had to be paid in advance which was not done in this case.
The BCCI official said he had raised the issue at the AGM only after having failed to get a reply to his query from MCA before the meeting.
"I raised the issue at the AGM of the MCA on March 22, 2013 because we cannot be silent spectators to the misuse of MCA funds," Shetty stated in his communication to the clubs.
"I was issued a show cause notice dated April 9, 2013 by the president of MCA. According to him, I had made allegations of Black Marketing against the Office Bearers and Managing Committee of the MCA and brought disrepute to the Association and that I must prove the allegations of black marketing.
"I replied to the Show Cause notice and denied the charge that I had levelled allegations of black marketing against the Office Bearers or Managing Committee members.
"The transcript of what I spoke at the AGM supports my claim.
"I don't think it is wrong to raise the issue of misuse of MCA funds which pertains to governance of MCA and this certainly cannot be construed as bringing disrepute to the Association."
Shetty has also said that after the issue was raised by him at the Working Committee meeting of the BCCI, he was supported by all the members including president N Srinivasan and a decision was taken to cut down on the quota of tickets to each non-match staging association.
"I had raised the same issue at the Working Committee of BCCI and this was supported by each and every member present including the president of MCA. The Working Committee unanimously decided to reduce the quota for sister associations in same zone to 30 tickets and for others to 10 tickets," Shetty has said.