Two days after Union finance minister Arun Jaitleyâ€”who also holds the I&B and Corporate Affairs portfoliosâ€”advised ngos like Greenpeace to be transparent and disclose their sources of funding, the Central Information Commission (CIC) indicted the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) for not being transparent enough. The DDCA claimed it was not covered under the Right to Information and therefore had no obligation to furnish information about its functioning. The irony was not lost. Jaitley was the DDCA president for 14 years. He continues to be its chief patron. The CIC held unanimously that the DDCA, although an autonomous body, fulfilled conditions for being declared a â€˜public authorityâ€™ under the RTI, as it had been using government land for commercial purposes. But it refrained from passing an order outright, because two of its earlier orders holding the India International Centre and the Delhi Golf Club declaring them to be public authorities had been stayed by the Delhi High Court. Despite repeated efforts, Jaitley was not available for a comment. Delhiâ€™s Ferozeshah Kotla, owned by the DDA, is controlled by the DDCA, but the lease expired in 2002. The 66-page CIC ruling questioned the propriety of allowing a commercial outfit to pay institutional rates as lease rent. The urban development ministry also failed to satisfy the commission of the basis on which institutional, commercial and residential rates were fixed in the national capital. BJP MP and former Test cricketer Kirti Azad, who has spearheaded a campaign to expose â€˜electoral and financial fraudsâ€™ in the DDCA (see interview), has been at the centre of a raging controversy in recent years. Azadâ€™s persistence also led to an inquiry by the Serious Fraud Investigation Organisa-tion (SFIO) in the corporate affairs ministry, which lists 23 instances of misappropriation of funds, non-paym-ent of taxes, not following the tendering route, hiring of tainted auditors and irregularities concerning management of membership, ticketing and so on. The SFIO report, a copy of which is in the possession ofOutlook, shows that no effort was made to cover up the irregularities. The only possible explanation is that the DDCA was confident of political patronage and consequent immunity from investigation and prosecution. Of course, no further action was initiated on the damning report. Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari â€œWhen I met Jaitley, instead of hearing me out, he went on a tirade against Kirti Azad for protesting against the DDCA.â€Bishen Singh Bedi, Former cricketer, DDCA member The DDCA is not a society, unlike other state cricket bodies, but a private limited company registered under Section 25 of the 1956 Companies Actâ€”limited by guarantee and not having share capital. It has 4,600 members; 300 of them are corporate members. The Centre appoints three nominees to the DDCA to keep vigil, and since 2011 they were Delhi Congressman Arvinder Singh Lovely, former Union minister Rajiv Shukla and Congress MP Navin Jindal. After regime change in 2014, the new members are BJP MP Pravesh Varma (his brother Siddhartha is a member), and former BJP MLAs R.P. Singh and Sunil Yadav. And fact is, no government nominee has ever protested against any mismanagement. â€œItâ€™s a cosy club; political affiliations donâ€™t matter,â€ says former cri---c-keter and DDCA member Bishen Singh Bedi. The state of Ferozeshah Kotla stadium is an ideal case study that sheds light on the â€˜managementâ€™ of the DDCA: *.The stadium is in control of the DDCA although the lease expired in 2002, effectively making it an illegal occupant for the last 13 years. The owners, Delhi Development Authority, have decided to ignore the issue. *.Despite having no legal rights, the DDCA has spent about Rs 500 crore on construction and renovation in Kotla, on an average of Rs 100 crore a year. It doesnâ€™t have the completion certificate or a safety certificate for the stadiumâ€”an essential legal requirement for hosting thousands for matches. *.As per the inspection report carried out by the technical section of the Union ministry of urban development in August 2013, unauthorised construction was rep-orted at 13 places in Kotla. DDCA president S.P. Bansal confirms, â€œThe no objection or the clearance cer-tificates would come only after a certain prope-rty matter with the government is settled. It is settled now. We will get the cle-arance soon,â€ he says. Itâ€™s still not there.