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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to take a fresh look at certain financial transactions entered into by Jagmohan Dalmiya, the board's former president.
The alleged misuse of PILCOM (Pakistan-India-Sri Lanka committee) funds came to light after the BCCI constituted a three-member committee headed by N Srinivasan, the board's treasurer, to review the account. PILCOM was the committee formed during the 1996 World Cup jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Following the board's Working Committee meeting on Tuesday, Srinivasan said, "some action has to be taken. The process and timing will be decided by the BCCI president. We have access to accounts for just the last 12 months but some members were of the view that accounts had not been handled properly. There is a case of impropriety concerning money matters".
A BCCI note gave further details: "In the Working Committee of January 23, 2006 Dalmiya had repeatedly mentioned that the PILCOM accounts are being audited by M/s SB Billimoria & Co., auditors of the BCCI. However, it is now being informed that the accounts are being audited in Pakistan. This is a contradiction." Billimoria and Co have written to the BCCI clarifying they have never audited the PILCOM accounts.
Dalmiya, whose group was ousted by political heavyweight Sharad Pawar in the bitterly-contested BCCI elections in November, rubbished the accusations against him. "It's baseless," Dalmiya, who has been given seven days to answer the charges, said on Wednesday. "They've started a witch-hunt and probably want a reason for disciplinary action. There's a limit to playing dirty. I'm confident of replying suitably to every charge."
The reviewing of the PILCOM account has raised several pertinent questions. These include: the absence of proper audits from 1996 to 2006; the fact that the Kolkata bank account meant for legal expenses relating to PILCOM was wound up on February 4, 2006, when Dalmiya was not authorised to do so as he ceased to be convenor secretary from January 23, 2006; Rs 65,000 was withdrawn in cash every month from April 2005 to December 2005 without any voucher or supporting documents.