DDCA row: Subramanium wants live telecast of probe proceedings

DDCA row: Subramanium wants live telecast of probe proceedings

Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, who is heading the Commission of Inquiry to go into alleged irregularities in DDCA affairs, has strongly pitched for live telecast of the proceedings to make it transparent.

"I would also like to make it clear that I have already promised a public inquiry. The same should be held at a suitable place. I offer it to be televised because I would like anybody in the world to watch how the Commission is proceeding to deal with this matter.

"I have always believed that in many parts of the world where proceedings of courts have been televised particularly in Britain and also in Canada, the judiciary has only stood to gain by being utterly transparent," he said in a letter to to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

"I do not see why a matter which involves cricket and in particular which has long term implications must not be dealt with in the same fashion," he said.

Formally accepting to head the Commission to probe alleged financial irregularities and wrongdoings in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Subramanium said its formation was in tune with provisions in the Constitution, notwithstanding Lt Governor Najeeb Jung's reservations over it.

Subramanium said that in view of the resolution passed by the Delhi Assembly to form the Commission, it was "incumbent" upon the city government to set up the same as the House was a "State legislature for all practical purposes".

The noted lawyer desisted from making any direct comment on Jung's reservations on setting up of the commission but made his disagreement clear, saying that not setting up the panel would be "contrary" to the relevant provisions of the Constitution.

"In any view, I have taken the opinion that in view of the express words of Article 239AA of the Constitution of India and in particular the Legislative Assembly being treated as a state legislature for the purposes of Article 324 to Article 326 and 329 of the Constitution, I am left in no doubt that this is a state legislature for all practical purposes.

"It would also be contrary to the Constitution that a democraticaly-elected body, which is empowered by the Constitution to deal with matters within the state list as well as the Concurrent list, subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution, cannnot set up a Commission of Inquiry," Subramanium said in his letter.

In a communication to the Centre, Jung had stated that since the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 empowers only the Centre and state governments to appoint a commission of inquiry, Delhi could do so only with the concurrence of the Centre, through the LG as it was a Union Territory.

Subramanium said that LG's "receipt" of information both from the Cabinet and the House indicate that he "prima facie" has consented to the appointment of the Commission.

The lawyer said that he does not wish to comment on media reports detailing Jung's observations. He also voiced his agreement to Kejriwal's observations that the "very faith of the people" is at danger of being lost in light of the alleged irregularities.

"As I made it clear that the purpose of the inquiry must be the game, the benefit to the game as well as restructuring of the DDCA in the event of such need being present...I am very happy to say that the terms of reference are indeed set out to obtain a level of fairness and objectivity in the inquiry," he said.

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