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DDCA defaults on salaries to coaches, support staff but pays 1.6 crore legal fee

Posted March 23rd, 2020, 09:47 AM IST

DDCA defaults on salaries to coaches, support staff but pays 1.6 crore legal fee

The Delhi and Districts Cricket Association is yet to pay remuneration of its coaches and support staff of various state teams (senior, age group, and women) but has cleared legal expenses of more than Rs 1.6 crore in the last four months.

Around 50 people, including senior Delhi team coaches like Bhaskar Pillay and Rajkumar Sharma (Virat Kohli's childhood coach), are awaiting their payments but their cheques are yet to be cleared. The due payments amount to Rs 4.5 crore.

The players, who represented the state in BCCI tournaments, are fortunate as they get their match fee directly transfered by the parent body to their bank accounts.

"The BCCI has paid us our grant. Rs 11 crore is in DDCA coffers. I don't know why none of the coaches, physios, masseurs have been paid. COVID-19 lockdown has just started but these payments have been pending for a long time," said DDCA joint secretary Rajan Manchanda.

Manchanda said only acting president Rakesh Bansal and secretary Vinod Tihara could answer the question. "I am one of the authorised signatories. But you need to ask the secretary and acting president, what is happening. I don't know my role," he added.

Both Tihara and Bansal were, however, unavailable for comment.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the entire city under complete lockdown, the payments may take a while to get cleared as DDCA, like most other offices, is shut down.

Legal allowance to all

As per DDCA's payment sheets, which PTI was able to access, a whopping Rs 1.63 crore has been paid to 11 lawyers, including two prominent active politicians, who at various points fought cases for warring DDCA faction since November 16, 2019. The highest payment (Rs 37.62 lakh) was received by Ombudsman Justice (Retd) Deepak Verma.

When a top DDCA office-bearer was asked about the legal expenses, he said, "Suppose Member A has filed a case against Member B, both are entitled to raise an invoice of their legal expenses which will be borne by the DDCA.

"So DDCA pays for all the lawyers who are fighting cases where members are pitted against each other," the office-bearer said.

In another development, the Ombudsman has instructed forensic audit due to allegations of financial irregularities in Rs 1.65 crore payment for renovation work at the Feroz Shah Kotla.