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More trouble for the BCCI as Deloitte audit report unearths lack of financial transparency in state associations

If the Deloitte audit reports see the light of the day, it is needless to say that the BCCI would lose further credibility.

Anurag Thakur BCCI
More trouble brewing for Anurag Thakur and BCCI?

At a time when the BCCI is struggling to implement the Supreme Court's interim order of October 21, it might find itself in murkier waters if Deloitte's audit report 'on due diligence' is made public. These reports, which focused on the utilisation of funds by the Board, are now in the safe custody of Amarchand Mangaldas, the BCCI's legal advisors.

The audit reports, based on the period ending March 31, 2015, have unearthed a glaring lack of fiscal transparency in the state associations with respect to the utilisation of funds allotted to them by the Board.

According to a report by the noted cricket writer and journalist Boria Majumdar in the India Today, state associations like Goa, Hyderabad, Assam, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Orissa will immediately come under the scanner of the Supreme Court if the reports are made public.

"In Goa the association had bought 18 cars which were being used by the Managing Committee members for their own personal needs. The cost of petrol and other maintenance were also being billed to the association and this had been going on for some months," a source has confirmed to the India Today.

The source also confirmed that the Hyderabad managing committee members had received gold coins and their wives were given jewellery apart from unaccounted loans and payments to the tune of crores.

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The Kerala State Association has allegedly built a land bank and a mangrove land worth more than 30 crores which cannot be utilised for cricketing purposes under environmental rules. They had also allegedly contracted private individuals without tenders being floated.

Assam, which was paid a loan of 60 crores by the BCCI a couple of years earlier, apparently does not have any records of the loan, how it was utilised and how the associations plans to pay it back.

The other state associations to be caught in the controversy are Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir, with the Orissa state association allegedly guilty of using hand-written account books until recently which is unprecedented in the age of e-filling and transparency.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Boria Majumdar pointed out, "Audit is essential to the smooth and efficient functioning of any association. If you aim to adhere to the ideas of transparency and accountability you ought to get audited. 

"And once every association is audited more revelations are likely to surface. For example, there are other irregularities with associations like the Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

"I can say that I am confident the Lodha panel will ask for these audit reports and bring them into the public domain. If they are made public it wouldn't surprise me if the SC orders a fresh investigation into the BCCI's affairs. In any case the making public of these reports will ask serious questions of the board's top brass."

These sensational allegations raise pertinent questions about why the BCCI, which puts every expense about 50 lacs on its website, has not made these reports public. If the reports are to be believed, it is utterly unacceptable that the members who indulged in dishonest and unethical practices, using public money for personal ends, should be allowed to control in office.

If the Deloitte audit reports see the light of the day, it is needless to say that the BCCI would lose further credibility and the Lodha Committee would press hard for a new investigation to be launched into the functioning of the state associations.

"If they get these and place them before the Supreme Court there is every likelihood of a new investigation being launched into the affairs of the BCCI and the state associations. The Deloitte reports on the functioning of the associations are just damning," a very senior functionary of the BCCI had told India Today.

Another source close to the BCCI was quoted as saying by The Telegraph, "If that does happen, then we will lose whatever sympathy the institution may currently be enjoying in its tussle with the Supreme Court."

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Deloitte, the international audit consulting and financial advisory firm was hired by the BCCI last year to undertake the first comprehensive audit of how state associations spend the massive grants disbursed to them. It has so far scanned the books of around 20 associations with the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), facing corruption enquiries by the CBI,  yet to audited.

Some of the associations like Jammu and Kashmir are already facing cases under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 406 and 409 (criminal breach of trust) registered against them over a financial case.

The Lodha Committee has already recommended structural reforms in the BCCI to bring about greater financial and administrative transparency.

“… A huge amount like Rs 572 crore was distributed (in 2015). Next year, it may be over `1000 crore. Should your system of disbursement not be perfect?” Chief Justice TS Thakur had observed.

“It (BCCI) will appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise the statement of accounts with regard to payments made to the member, and all further payments due to a member, associate member and an affiliate member will be released only after the audit report.”

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