The DDCA report is at the centre of a political firestorm with the AAP government quoting from it extensively over the last few days to target Arun Jaitley.
Embedded deep inside the dusty and dingy labyrinth-like lanes of East Delhi’s shanty town, Ghonda, are three small shops — a dairy selling shudh desi ghee, a dispensary offering mitti (mud) therapy and a sparse garment shop. They share a common back wall and have the same address: U-23, Arvind Nagar, New Delhi.
According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs records, this is the address listed for three companies — Stream Marketing Private Limited, Ultimate IT Solutions Private Limited and Advent Trading Private Limited — named in DDCA’s internal report for financial irregularities.
The DDCA report is at the centre of a political firestorm with the AAP government quoting from it extensively over the last few days to target Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who headed the cricket association between 1999-2013.
“Following our inquiry into the functioning of the DDCA, we highlighted cases where payments were being made to different companies which had common directors,” said DDCA club secretary Sunil Jain, who was part of the probe panel.
“The DDCA’s internal fact-finding committee was set up after it was brought to my notice by the DDCA’s auditor that Rs 1.55 crore was allegedly siphoned off by the DDCA president (Sneh Bansal). The committee was established in November last year and submitted its report subsequently,” said DDCA treasurer Ravinder Manchanda.
Asked about the three companies, DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan said, “They were working for us as soon as the stadium work began — in 2006. They went on to do various construction and repair works in 2009, 2010 and 2011. I don’t recall the year when payments were made to them but all of that was done by cheques, nothing by cash. It’s well documented.”
The dairy, dispensary and dress shop form the front part of a house owned by Naresh Chand Sharma who, according to records, is the director of Stream Marketing that was allegedly paid Rs 7.90 lakh to refurbish a section of the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, according to the report.
When The Indian Express reached the address on Friday morning, the staffer manning the garment shop, Taslim Khan, pointed to the floor above and said, “Naresh Chand Sharma stays in this house. These are his shops, we pay rent to him.”
At the house above, a lady hesitantly shared Sharma’s phone number, saying “the man of the house” works at an incense sticks factory “somewhere in Vasundhara”.
When the number was dialled, a man identifying himself as Sharma came on line. He sounded clueless about the DDCA’s report or Stream Marketing. “I have not heard of DDCA, nor have I ever been to the Feroz Shah Kotla. I don’t know how my address has appeared in this report. I have been living here with my family for over four decades now…no company operates from this address,” Sharma told The Indian Express.
He also denied that he worked in Vasundhara. “I sell agarbatti door to door,” he said.
Neighbours described Sharma as a 64-year-old who heads a lower middle-class family of five. His elder son is employed with a private firm, while his younger son conducts tuition classes. Above the three shops is a hoarding that says “Hans Academy”. In smaller font is more information: “Competition classes, 1st to 10 all subjects”.
“He (Sharma) comes home late, he earns about Rs 10,000 as rent from these three shops. They have a car but they got it on EMI,” said an onlooker who declined to be identified.
The DDCA’s fact-finding report alleges that contracts for various development and maintenance work at the Kotla were given to firms with no experience of the work that was tendered for. “On investigation it was detected that some of the companies have the same e-mail IDs, the same registered office as well as the same individuals as directors,” says the report.
Records show Sharma as the director of another company, Nipun Tradeex Private Limited, that got a contract for supply arena seating, carpets, panels, etc. The report said it was paid Rs 9.20 lakh.
In a couple of other companies, Sharma is listed as a director along with Mukesh Gupta. “I don’t know any Mukesh Gupta,” said Sharma over the phone.
Four companies also share a common email: firstname.lastname@example.org. A mail to the email ID failed to draw a response.
.. as published in The Indian Express