Union Minister Arun Jaitley has indulged in nepotism and had got his daughter Sonali appointed on the committees of Hockey India (HI), and that she was “reportedly paid huge sums”, KPS Gill, a former president of the Indian Hockey Federation, has alleged.
In a letter he has sent to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, former top cop Gill has also raised questions on “financial irregularities and functioning” of Hockey India, and teasingly told him that he could find all the answers if he uncovers in the “relationship between Jaitley and Batra”.
Narinder Dhruv Batra is currently president of Hockey India, the national governing body of the game, and its former secretary.
Sonali Jaitley’s husband Jaiyesh Bakshi, a lawyer like her, is also on two Hockey India committees currently, as the Hockey India website displayed on Wednesday. While Sonali is on the Sexual Harassment Committee and the Ethics Committee, Jaiyesh Bakshi is on the Ethics Committee as well as the Anti-Corruption Committee, according to the website (see accompanying photos).
Arun Jaitley’s daughter Sonali and her husband Jaiyesh Bakshi (extreme right) could be seen along with Shah Rukh Khan and Rajeev Shukla (extreme left) during her wedding recently. India TV chief Rajat Sharma is partly seen behind Sonali.
Gill has also raised the issue of a conflict of interest as Jaitley, along with Congress’s Rajeev Shukla and Rajat Sharma of India TV, was member of the Board of the Hockey India League (HIL), an arm of the Hockey India, was appointed on 25 July, 2012.
“What is urgently required to be probed is the conflict of interest that is being very much visible when you look [at] the list if office-bearers and various committees of Hockey India and the financial misappropriation of funds meant for hockey,” wrote Gill in his letter.
“Shri Arun Jaitley being the Advisor of Hockey India League having no hockey connection whatsoever have got his daughter appointed on the Legal Committee of Hockey India League and reportedly paid huge sums. Shri Arun Jaitley being a very senior minister of the government should either resign as a minister or from the Advisory Board of the Hockey India League,” said Gill.
Gill, who was president from 1994 to 2010 of a body that is no more in control, made some more allegations.
“The company that is paid a percentage as commission for bringing in sponsors, the rent that is shown as paid for the office [at Mohan Co-operative Industrial Estate, Mathura Road, New Delhi] that is being used by Hockey India, the Lalit Hotel is the only hotel used for stay of teams/FIH [hockey’s world governing body] officials during international tournaments, whether the arrangement for their is finalised after following a due process which is transparent, whether entertainment tax paid during the HIL held in Delhi, the salaries paid to the Indian and foreign staff and why the discrimination between the Indian and foreign players, umpires and officials where payments are concerned,” he wrore.
“You may find the answers to your questions as to what is the relationship between Jaitley and Batra,” Gill claimed in his undated letter, but did not explain the relationship between the two persons.
Addressing Kejriwal, Gill further said, “Your prompt and immediate action in this matter of financial irregularities and functioning of Hockey India needs to be taken up on top priority for the further promotion and development of sports in India and hockey in particular.”
Gill has a well-known grouse against Batra as they fought a long battle for the control of hockey administration in India. Eventually, Batra’s Hockey India gained control with help from the Indian government and the world hockey body, FIH.
Jaitley, Congress MP Rajeev Shukla and India TV chief Rajat Sharma were appointed members of the Board of the Hockey India League, an arm of Hockey India, on 25 July, 2012. And on 8 October last year, Hockey India announced that Jaitley “has consented to continue as a part of the Advisory Board of the HIL for the next two editions”.
“We are sure that the Hockey India League will gain from Mr. Shukla’s knowledge gained as Chairman of the Indian Premier League Governing Council and in public life, Mr. Jaitley’s vast experience as lawyer and sports administrator and Mr. Rajat Sharma’s experience as a media personality,” Batra said in a press release on the appointments at the time.
“As a fan of hockey, I have seen the positive steps that Hockey India has taken and I am confident that the professional league with the world’s best players taking part can only help Indian hockey progress faster,” Jaitley was quoted in the same Hockey India press release issued on 25 July, 2012.