Dalmiya in battle mode against current regime

Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:The warlords of BCCI have drawn the swords yet again as former Cricket Board President Jagmohan Dalmiya looked determined to end the 'wilful witch-hunting' by the current regime, while the powers-that-be looked unfazed by his response.

Taking umbrage at allegations of having swindling crores of rupees, former BBCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya today replied to each of the charges and threatened legal action if necessary.

''Its a hit-and-run policy. I will have to put an end to this wilful witch hunting,'' he said.

In response, the current regime fired their salvo in the form of a show-cause notice. The three-page letter, signed by Board Secretary and new PILCOM (Pakistan India Lanka committee-the Joint organises of world Cup) Convenor-Secretary Niranjan Shah, was received at the CAB headquarters at the Eden Gardens last evening even as Mr Dalmiya was slicing down the allegations layer by layer in an emotionally charged speech.

The letter claimed that Dalmiya had not furnished enough details and records pertaining to the PILCOM transactions as also the account in Kolkata during the Working Committee meet on February 21.

Asked about the show-cause notice served to him, Mr Dalmiya told UNI,'' I have no explanation for this. There is no logic. God knows what they will do next. I will certainly have to look into it.''

Another source close to BCCI told UNI last night, ''Today is the sixth day of the seven-day time frame by which Mr Dalmiya was supposed to get back with his reply. Today he faxed his page by page, point by point counter of the allegations at around 1430 hours and the show-cause notice comes pat. What do you say about that.'' Mr Dalmiya is in touch with his lawyers planning his next move.

The showcause notice had asked Mr Dalmiya to respond within 15 days on the same allegations made against him in the Working Committee meeting on February 21 and asked why action should not be taken against him under Clause 38 of the BCCI constitution. It was signed by board Secretary Niranjan Shah.

Mr Niranjan Shah talking to UNI from Rajkot said, ''Let me make two things very clear, we have not received any paper either in the Mumbai office or in Rajkot office till last evening. This is on record.'' ''Another record I want to set straight. The Working Committee had not given anytime frame to Mr Dalmiya,'' he said.

Asked about the sudden show-cause notice, he said, ''The working committee had given the President the authority to take appropriate action. It did not give any time to Mr Dalmiya. He asked for seven- day's time. Now he has been given 15 days' time.'' Mr Shah further justified the notice and stated the Board just wanted an explanation from the former President with satisfying documents.

In the meantime, Mr Dalmiya had sent an 11-page reply to BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah's note circulated at the board's February 21 working committee meeting on alleged irregularities in PILCOM.

Mr Dalmiya, the Convenor Secretary of the PILCOM when the World Cup was organised scotched the allegations that an amount of four million dollars (about Rs 20 crore) due from TWI towards television rights of the 1996 World Cup had not been accounted for.

''The new Convenor Secretary of PILCOM (Niranjan Shah) has made a wild, defamatory charge through innuendo. I wish to state categorically that I am not aware of any amount being due from TWI,'' he said.

Mr Dalmiya said PILCOM account could not be closed as the Income Tax authorities had slapped a series of cases. ''Till now, there are 64 cases pending with Kolkata IT authorities. But though the initial demand from the IT department was for Rs 88.71 crore, due to BCCI's continuous efforts, it has come down to Rs 4.82 crore. But this can be fought out too,'' he said.

Due to the pending IT cases, the final amount with the PILCOM could not be assessed and the money could not be divided between India and Pakistan, he said.

On the allegation that Rs 6.05 lakh had been withdrawn between April and December last year from the account maintained by BCCI here, Mr Dalmiya explained that the amount withdrawn was to meet monthly expenses like salaries, local conveyance, travelling and other heads and showed the expenses to the last penny.

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