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MCA AGM: Inquiry into 405 unsold 2011 World Cup tickets closed

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: October 18, 2013 23:17 IST
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Ratnakar ShettySlamming the constitution of the four-member panel to probe the issue of 405 unsold tickets during the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai, newly-elected Mumbai Cricket Association president Sharad Pawar called for the "unfair" report be rejected at the association's AGM on Friday.

Outgoing president Ravi Savant, who chaired the AGM, accepted Pawar's view and said it will be scrapped.

Pawar questioned the committee's formation, asking how Ravi Mandrekar, who had complained about the matter, could be a member of the panel.

"If you have to inquire a particular complaint, the complainant himself should not be a member of the inquiry committee. It is totally unfair," said Pawar.

"I have not seen the entire report, but I have seen that out of four members only one member has signed. When only one member signs, it is not a report but the finding of one gentleman," Pawar added.

The MCA has already stated that it never got receipt of the report that was published by a local newspaper, which claimed they were the findings of the inquiry committee.

"I am not aware whether it has been officially received by MCA. But the issue was not even discussed in the MCA managing committee and if these types of reactions go to the media, the intention seems to be just to defame and it is unfair," said Pawar, who was MCA chief when the final between India and Sri Lanka was held on April 2 at the Wankhede stadium.

"This report should be totally rejected. It is a question of unsold tickets and, that is why, I think we should not go into it again and again. The allegation was wrong. The report was not correct. That is why this committee should reject this report and close this chapter here," he said.

A cornered Savant meekly accepted Pawar's suggestion, but defended the MCA by saying the report was received only the next day after the news article was published.

"It wasn't officially received by MCA till the article came. The next day there was an e-mail from Mandrekar attaching that report, sent to the MCA," Savant said. 

The MCA initiated an inquiry against Ratnakar Shetty, who was treasurer in 2011, former joint-secretary Lalchand Rajput and CEO C S Naik over the 405 unsold tickets during the World Cup two years back.

Pawar, who was on the dais along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at Friday’s AGM, agreed that the leaked report “was with the intent to defame a few people”.

He pointed out that since the MCA did not suffer any monetary losses it was the best in interests of everyone to close the inquiry.

“Since the tickets were left unsold and the association didn’t suffer any losses, because money didn’t go out, it is best that we close this issue,” Pawar said.

Shetty, who is the BCCI’s game development manager, said the report which appeared in DNA newspaper earlier this week “was a deliberate leak to defame him and the other members”.

Pawar also agreed with his views. "You cannot have a complainant (Ravi Mandrekar) in the inquiry committee too; so this cannot be termed a report, it is merely a finding, which cannot be accepted,” he said.

Pawar returned as MCA president after BJP leader Gopinath Munde’s nomination was rejected by the election officer on basis of the residential criteria.

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