Joint-secretary elect of BCCI faces Rs 2.5 crore corruption charges
KOCHI: It's been just a couple of days since Jayesh George filed his nomination for the post of BCCI joint-secretary unopposed but the president of Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) is feeling the heat back home even before assuming charge in Mumbai next week.
Raising the pitch in their fight against corruption in cricket, a group of former players and former members of KCA called 'We for Clean Cricket Movement' alleged that Jayesh George has committed several financial irregularities during the time he was an office-bearer of the state cricket unit.
They alleged that Jayesh had swindled almost 2.5 crore from the state cricket unit during the time he served as the treasurer, joint-secretary or secretary of the KCA and demanded an independent audit of the state body's financial accounts.
One of the allegations is that KCA paid three companies — Dotted Lines, Yakka Associates and Green wickets — with alleged suspicious credentials . The former members of the KCA and ex-players also alleged that Dotted Lines was assigned the task of posting Facebook updates of KCA activities without entering into any contract with state cricket unit.
Funds were also channelized using the non-existent project office of the Edakochi stadium when Jayesh was the project director, the dissenting group alleged.
"We are not against KCA but we are against corrupt individuals in KCA. We have only cited misappropriation of funds on the part of Jayesh where we have been able to gather proof," said Pramod K, former district secretary of Thrissur District Cricket Association.
They also said that Jayesh and his team used the order of the ombudsman to remove the former president TC Mathew from the primary membership of KCA.
But in the very same order, the ombudsman had stated that the secretary of the KCA will be entitled to prosecute Mathew for criminal offences by complaining at an appropriate police station. But no such action has been taken by the KCA though Pramod, being the complainant in the case against Mathew, has filed individual cases against the former KCA president at three different police stations.
"When we had produced all documentary evidence against Jayesh's alleged corrupt activities and the trial was entering the last stage, they removed the ombudsman and named a new one, fearing their irregularities will be exposed. We have challenged this in the high court," said Pramod.
But Jayesh George denied the allegations raised against him by a group of former members of KCA and ex-players.
"Firstly, all these allegations raised are the complaints filed by certain individuals before the ombudsman and I have filed my counter replies to it. The allegations raised are from 2013 to 2018. I assumed charge as secretary of KCA only on January 2, 2017. So most of these corruption allegations raised are beyond my purview as I was not a signing authority in KCA then, and if questions have to be asked, those have to be addressed to Mr Mathew (president) and Mr TN Ananthanarayanan (secretary) who were in charge at the time. When I became secretary, I, in fact, terminated the agreement KCA had with Dotted Lines. All the allegations levelled against me are totally baseless," said Jayesh.