BCCI's Ombudsman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah has given the BCCI time till February 20 to file its reply to the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma's complaint.
Aditya Verma, the secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), has lodged a complaint with BCCI's Ombudsman Justice Ajit Prakash Shah that the Board's joint secretary Amitabh Choudhary has conflict of interest and wants the matter to be investigated.
Ombudsman Shah, on his part, has given the BCCI time till February 20 to file its reply to the CAB secretary's complaint, said Verma at a media conference in Mumbai on Thursday after distributing the copy of his complaint to Shah and the latter's communication granting time to the Board to respond.
Verma, in his communication to Shah, said that the question of recognition of the CAB and rival body Bihar Cricket Association is pending before the Supreme Court.
"It is also brought to your kind attention that the dispute over the recognition of the Cricket Association of Bihar is related to the recognition accorded to the Jharkhand Cricket Association, whose president, Amitabh Choudhary, is currently the Joint Secretary of the Board," Verma has written.
Verma pointed out sweeping reforms in the BCCI's structure, requiring a full member from each state, recommended by the apex court-appointed Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha Committee and the direction of the Supreme Court to the Board to file its reply about their implementation on March 3.
"Despite all these events, it is submitted that some members of the BCCI, namely K V P Rao and Prof Ratnakar Shetty, gave media bytes to the efffect that the Associate Membership was being accorded to the faction of the Bihar Cricket Association led by Shri Abdul Bari Siddiqui," Verma has written to the Ombudsman.
"It is submitted, this was presumably done at the instance of Amitabh Choudhary, since the issue of recognition of the Cricket Association of Bihar is in direct interest to him. Since Choudhary is the Joint Secretary of the BCCI, he renders considerably influence on the decisions of the Board, and he is in a direct conflict of interest in the present matter," Verma has written in his complaint to Ombudsman Shah.
"It is submitted that BCCI (is) holding the monopoly in administration of cricket in India and performing the functions of the State and thus has a duty to act in a fair manner," Verma said in his complaint.
Even as the BCCI's Special General Meeting (SGM), which will be held on Friday, is all set to discuss the implementation of the Lodha Committee report, Verma, the petitioner in the conflict of interest case in the Supreme Court on whose petition Narayanswami Srinivasan was asked by the apex court to step down as the Board President, asked the Board to accept them in toto.
"It comes as a surprise to see the BCCI offer any resistance to the recommendations made by the Committee headed by former Chief Justice Lodha, especially when they had orally undertaken to the Supreme Court that they would follow the recommendations given by Justice Lodha," said Verma in a media release.
He also earnestly appealed to the BCCI 'to implement the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee forthwith.'
Verma also said he would move the Delhi High Court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the hacking of emails of sevaral people, including his, through a professional agency for which the Board incurred an expense of Rs 16 crore and has formed a small committee to inquire into the matter.
"The committee formed by the Board to probe this has no legal powers. I intend to approach the Delhi High Court to file a criminal case and seek a probe by CBI or NIA," Verma said.
Verma also said that on March 3, the date set by the Supreme Court to hear the reply of BCCI on implementation of the Lodha Committee's recommendations, he intends to ask what happened to the sealed envelope, containing the names of administrators and some top cricketers, given by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee appointed by the apex court to probe the spot-fixing and betting scandal in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League in 2013.
"I would request to know what has happened to the sealed envelope on March 3," said Verma, whose relentless pursuit of the conflict of interest case against Srinivasan has shaken the BCCI's structure.
Image: BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
Photograph courtesy: Amitabh Choudhary/Facebook