Rigging the election DDCA way

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Kirti Azad, Expelled  BJP MP
Kirti Azad, Expelled BJP MP

The National Capital Territory (NCT) Cricket Association and I have been following up on various frauds happening in the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) over the years. But, what takes the cake is the ease with which the same set of office bearers have been returning to office, year after year. We have been repeatedly pointing out the corrupt practices adopted by the management and certain office bearers with regard to rigging the executive committee elections year after year, but to no avail.

In the recently released CD of mine I showed how farcical these elections are. Even the dictators of Pakistan and some African countries cannot pull off such devious acts. DDCA is a licensed company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 and is governed by the licensing conditions which form its basic structure and these are incorporated in the Memorandum itself. Yet, a mere reading of the Memorandum of Articles of the Association of the DDCA will clearly show that Article 37 permits voting by proxies which is in consonance with Section 176 of the Companies Act, 1956 and Section 105 of the Companies Act, 2013. A bare perusal of the aforesaid sections empowers any member of a company entitled to attend and vote at a meeting of the company to be entitled to appoint another person (whether a member or not) as his proxy to attend and vote instead of the member. It clearly mandates that the person appointing proxy on his behalf has to authorise and name a particular person in the instrument of the proxy by clearly mentioning his name, duly authorizing the proxy to attend the meeting and vote on his behalf.

The aforesaid provisions as contained in the Companies Act, 1956 are being misused by a set of members who by violating the aforesaid provisions of the Act, which was inserted so as to facilitate more members to attend the meeting and to cast their votes in favor or against a resolution, have managed to control the affairs of the DDCA for the last 35 years. A few members by using their clout as members of the executive committee have indulged in unscrupulous practices like distribution of free passes and other freebies and enticed the members of the DDCA to issue them blank proxy forms. This form has no name as to who the member is appointing as a proxy and it only contains the signatures of the members.

Such proxy forms have been misused by filling up the name of the proxy holder after obtaining a blank proxy form from the member and by following such practice, proxy forms are being filed by a particular member- for instance in the election held to constitute the executive committee for the year 2011-12 CK Khanna filed 864 proxy forms, SP Bansal filed 130, Arun Jaitley filed 164 and Rakesh Bansal filed 612, Ravi Jain filed 213 , Vivek Gupta filed 143, Ravinder Manchanda filed 310, Manjeet Singh filed 247, Subhash Sharma filed 109 , N K Batra filed 11, Vinod Garg filed …….., Rajneesh Aggarwal filed 102 and Ganga Prasad Gupta filed 210 number of proxies in their names, amongst others.
A perusal of some of the aforesaid proxy forms, which were filed, clearly showed that the hand writing, the signatures, the column of the name of the proxy holder and date of issuance did not match at all. Furthermore, 864 proxy forms as filed by CK Khanna depicted the name of only one proxy holder i.e. himself. Upon scrutiny of the proxy forms filed by all the members, it was further brought on record by the election officer that there were three instances in the year 2012 and six instances in 2013 wherein blank proxy forms bearing no signatures of the concerned member of the DDCA were filed by a particular member. This clearly highlighted how the whole system of proxy forms, which were to fulfill a particular purpose, has been squarely abused by a set of office bearers of the DDCA.
Rakesh Bansal, the brother of Sneh Bansal (who has been a general secretary for the last 25 years), deposited 612 proxy forms in his name. It was observed that no member had filled the name of the proxy holder, but had given a blank proxy form, which was later filled in with the name Rakesh Bansal by a person other than the member appointing the proxy holder. It was shocking to observe that all the 612 proxy forms were filled in the same handwriting. The same method was adopted by CK Khanna, Sunil Dev, Sneh Bansal, Manjeet Singh, Vinod Garg, Ravinder Manchanda, Ganga Prasad Gupta and others. It was disturbing to note that more than 50 percent of the proxy forms, 2150, were filed by only five members namely Sneh Bansal, Rakesh Bansal, CK Khanna, Sunil Dev, and Manjeet Singh and thereby making a mockery of the election process.

The election, like all elections in the past 35 years, has been clearly vitiated and a handful of persons in the DDCA have been taking advantage of the proxy system. When 99 percent of the members are basically residents of NCT of Delhi, there was no reason to allow the continued abuse of the proxy system, year after year, in the DDCA.

The DDCA has not maintained a proper register of members which can be periodically updated to get the current address and the status of the member, whether he is alive or dead. There is nothing on record to ensure whether a signature of a particular member is genuine or not. In such a scenario, the election officer, who is duty bound to scrutinize above mentioned proxy forms, is totally incapable of doing so in the absence of a register carrying the latest information and updated signatures. It is humanly impossible for the election officer to ascertain whether proxy form has been issued by a particular member to which said proxy form was issued, whether that particular member is still alive and whether the signatures of the particular member issuing a proxy form clearly matches with the signatures already on record. If the signatures are poles apart then results the proxy forms get rejected. Surprisingly, in the year 2012 and 2013, anyone one could see that on many forms the names seem to be misspelt or were not in any flow. I am given to understand that more than 25 proxies of members, who are above the age of 85 years, were deposited by the DDCA office bearers. This shows that life expectancy, at least in DDCA, is far more than the national average.

The data released by the election officer for the 2012 election points to the fact that for 24 members no signatures are available on the record of the DDCA. Hence all the above irregularities and illegalities clearly highlight the misuse of the proxy form.
It has been commonly seen that there are many members who have shown their address as those of certain office bearers of the DDCA. It is apparent that most of these members have stopped paying their annual membership fees and their memberships have been literally usurped, by paying up their dues, and changing the addresses to their own residences.
With Lodha Commission’s recommendations set to be accepted, the proxy system that has been thoroughly misused by politicians and small time crooks is set to go. I sincerely hope that we are able to induct more professional administrators and knowledgeable cricketers to improve the functioning of all state associations as well as the BCCI soon.