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Is the Delhi govt competent to set up a commission of inquiry to probe into DDCA corruption allegations?
The Delhi govt has appointed Gopal Subramaniam panel to probe into the allegations against Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Gopal Subramaniam was the former Solicitor General of India. He wrote to the Central govt asking for officers from CBI, IB and Delhi police to constitute a special investigating team to conduct his enquiry on the DDCA issue.
The centre had replied that the Subramaniam Panel appointed by the Delhi govt to probe into the alleged corruption in the DDCA is unconstitutional and illegal. It said that Delhi govt has no powers for enquiry into matters related to central govt.
Delhi is neither purely a Union Territory nor a State. It is a mix of both. If we go by the constitutional provisions then it is more of a UT than a State.
Article 239AA – there will be an administrator for the National Capital Territory of Delhi and he is the Lieutenant Governor, aided and advised by a Council of Ministers representing the electorate. However, in case there is a difference of opinion between the Lieutenant Governor and the State govt, the matter shall be referred to the President of India, who is aided and advised by the Central govt Council of Ministers/central cabinet. Thus, the central govt has the ultimate say in any matter of difference of opinion between Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the CoM of Delhi.
The Delhi govt has no powers related public order, land, and police.
The Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 talks of Central govt and State govt and who can appoint an inquiry commission. Going by Article 239AA and CoI Act 1952, Delhi govt is neither a central govt nor a state govt. Hence the Delhi govt cannot utilise the powers under CoI Act 1952 to appoint a commission of inquiry.
In 2013 Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) had conducted inquiry into the DDCA issue within the purview of Companies Act and found that there were some irregularities in the accounts which were compounded already. It said there was no serious fraud. However, the SFIO didn’t investigate matters beyond Companies Act provisions.
Cricket is a religion in India. The BCCI or DDCA or for that matter any sports administration body is taking the responsibility of public interest and they should be transparent and come under the purview of RTI. Citing Constitutional Provisions and preventing a commission of inquiry to look into the allegations of corruption amounts to setting aside the public interest. Public is not bothered about whether it is central govt’s problem or state govt’s problem. Public wanted a better career in cricket and other sports. Their perception on the administration should be cleared of any suspicion of corruption. It is a high time that India needs a separate Sports Bill which takes care of all these matters related to sports.