New Delhi: The Delhi and District Cricket Association on Wednesday strongly refuted allegations of "gross financial irregularities" against Finance Minister and its former president Arun Jaitley, saying that such charges were "absolutely rubbish".
Hours after Congress and AAP targeted Jaitley and demanded his resignation over alleged "gross financial irregularities" in the DDCA when he headed it from 1999 to 2013, DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan held a press conference to rebut all the allegations.
"Some allegations have been raised against DDCA and it needs clarification as everyone is stating their point. First thing is allegation of irregularities on stadium construction. Stadium is made of Rs 141 crore," Chauhan said.
"The reason for escalated costs was because capacity earlier was 26,000. But we demolished and then we renovated. It is recorded in ROC. It was given to EPIL, so I absolutely rubbish the charges," he said.
"I rubbish allegations against ex-president (Jaitley). I would like to thank Jaitley ji for taking care of renovation and making this a state-of-the-art stadium," he added.
According to Chauhan, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) investigated the irregularities and nothing save a case of embezzlement was found.
"Another irregularity was found and the case is sub judice. We organised a Test match for 5 days with 27,000 people on one day," he said.
"All tenders were carefully supervised during Test match. Another allegation of embezzlement against Bansal is after Jaitley left office in December 2013."
In a further escalation of the confrontation between the opposition party and the government, the Congress claimed that a committee constituted by Delhi government has found "gross financial irregularities" in the DDCA during that period.
On his part, Jaitley dismissed the allegations as "vague" and said he cannot answer them unless they are specific. He also attacked the AAP and its government of trying to "deflect" attention from the issue of corruption and "interference" in the probe.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Tuesday indicated that he proposed to order a Commission of Inquiry into the report of the committee set up by his government to go into the DDCA affairs, which implicated Jaitley.
Talking about the issue of getting the NOC from the authorities before the Test match between India and South Africa earlier this month, Chauhan said, "We paid property tax to the tune of Rs 5 crore and NOC was procured. By March, we will pay 1 crore outstanding. We have already paid lease amount of Rs 24.64 lakh and we will get Completion Certificate from MCD."
He said the Delhi government has no jurisdiction on the issue.
"Excise, entertainment and power are only three areas that comes under government and nothing else is under their jurisdiction as they have no authority," said Chauhan.
"We are not shying away from any enquiry and it is a politically motivated move. They made a committee, they asked and we answered. If they were not satisfied they should have written and asked to clarify certain areas. We would have done that. They don't even tell us what are the terms of references," he said.
"At one side they ask for 24 crore for entertainment tax and then you go to BCCI president that let us organise the match. I must thank Shashank Manohar for rejecting their plea of backdoor entry of Delhi government."
Meanwhile, DDCA treasure Ravinder Manchanda said, "Delhi government has no jurisdiction on DDCA activities. We are section 25 company answerable to ROC (Registrar of Companies). This is done by ulterior motives."
On the embezzlement charge, Manchandana said, "We are not shielding anybody. We are all with Arun Jaitley. We appeal to these people that let us organise World T20 peacefully".