The sexual harassment complaint containing vivid details of the troubled personal and public lives of the DDCA president was first sent in February 2023 through email to the then DDCA Ombudsman, Justice (Retd) Ms. Indu Malhotra, and other office-bearers of the DDCA and BCCI
Abdul Bari Masoud | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — After BJP lawmaker and Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, another sports body (Delhi & District Cricket Association) chief Rohan Jaitley, is accused of sexual harassment.
Although the victim filed a complaint in February this year, neither the police nor the BCCI has taken any action against Rohan because of his political background.
Rohan is the son of former finance minister and prominent BJP leader Late Arun Jaitley.
The Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) is not new to controversies and corruption. But this time, it is in the news for reasons that have nothing to do with the game of cricket in particular but are regarding the private life of the head of the sports body. It seems that instead of playing on the field, Indian sports officials prefer to play on the bed.
The controversy that has aroused much national interest revolves around the young DDCA president’s personal life which has now become the talk of the town.
A young woman, Jyotsna Sahani, alleged that Rohan abused her sexually under the pretext of marrying her. She has also charged the DDCA president with financial misappropriation.
In her complaint, she also alleged that she stayed in a 5-star hotel, where the Indian team was also staying, in Mumbai booked by DDCA on the instructions of its president.
There is also an indecent selfie video of the man doing the rounds on Twitter and other social media platforms. The sexual harassment complaint containing vivid details of the troubled personal and public lives of the DDCA president was first sent in February 2023 through email to the then DDCA Ombudsman, Justice (Retd) Ms. Indu Malhotra (Former judge of the Supreme Court), and other office-bearers of the DDCA and BCCI. There were two reminder emails as well from the complainant. But to no avail.
She also claims that Rohan and his wife made death threats against her. The email in which the victim described her ordeal has been made public by journalist Sakshi Joshi. It was addressed to BCCI.
The victim claims in the letter that two guys approached her as she was out for a stroll and threatened to kill her if “I tell anyone about my relationship with Rohan.”
She further alleged that in a similar fashion, a man threatened to murder her. “There is a serious threat to my life by Mr Rohan Jaitley and his wife Mehrunissa,” the letter said.
“Dear Sir/Ma’am This is to inform you about the atrocious, inhumane and sadistic acts committed by Mr Rohan Jaitley, president of DDCA against me. It is brought to your kind notice that there is a serious threat to my life from Mr Jaitley and his wife namely Mehrunissa Anand Jaitley. The facts and circumstances stated below have forced me to bring this letter before you in order to take necessary/appropriate actions against Mr. Jaitley,” the victim Jyotsna Sahani wrote in her complaint to the BCCI.
Speaking of the sorry affairs in the cricket body with Clarion India, Sanjay Bhardwaj, former Delhi Ranji player and Director (Cricket) DDCA, said the victim has also sent an email detailing her side of the story to BCCI secretary Jay Shah, President Roger Binny, and National Cricket Authority (NCA) chief VVS Laxman but to no avail.
The ombudsman also resigned in February without initiating any inquiry against Rohan and the DDCA was yet to hold any probe against him, Bhardwaj added.
Bhardwaj, who went to the press along with Naveen Jindal (Life Member, DDCA) to bring the immoral activities in the cricket association to the fore, also accused the president of violating the rules and regulations of the body as even a new ombudsman was appointed without the consent of the secretary Sidharth Sahib Singh.
In a tug-of-war between the two top functionaries of DDCA, efforts were made by the president to get his own man appointed as the new ombudsman. Justice (Retd) M.M. Kumar (Former chief justice J&K High Court) was chosen for the job. Accordingly, he was appointed by way of a resolution circulated amongst the members of the board, but the secretary was never informed nor the copy of the resolution was forwarded to him for his consent. Since the appointment of the new ombudsman was not in conformity with the law and in violation of the mandatory norms set out by the Supreme Court in Justice Lodha Committee judgement, and knowing fully well that it would not get the approval of the secretary, he was kept out of the loop.
As the new ombudsman took over and started holding hearings, the secretary wrote to him about the grave infirmity in his appointment. Justice (Retd) M.M. Kumar had no other option but to adjourn all hearings. Thereafter, the president thought it wise to rectify the mistake by getting the ombudsman’s appointment ratified by the general body. But, since the ombudsman could not have been appointed by the board in the first place and the general body has the power to appoint and the agenda of the Special General Meeting (SGM) seeking members to ratify is a violation of DDCA’s own constitution and the guideline laid down by the Supreme Court.
In terms of the Supreme Court Judgement, the secretary said the choice of the name of the ombudsman to be appointed is to be decided by the general body consisting of 4,200 members of the DDCA. But the 18 wise men on the board running the DDCA thought it otherwise and after having already appointed the ombudsman they called the SGM on July 5 to get his appointment illegally ratified by the members even without a vote.
It is unprecedented that the secretary DDCA has now approached the Delhi High Court in a Writ Petition No. 8634/23 challenging the SGM. There is a prayer in the petition seeking the appointment of an administrator at the DDCA to run its affairs.
Despite the Supreme Court judgement of September 14, 2022, specifically directed that the secretary shall exercise all powers in relation to cricketing and non-cricketing matters and that all employees of DDCA shall work under the secretary’s direct supervision, direction, and control, the secretary is not allowed to exercise his powers. The board, under the influence of the president, has defied the Supreme Court guidelines, empowered the president, and taken away the powers assigned to the secretary by the Supreme Court, a former Ranji player alleged.
He also alleged that in an attempt to keep the secretary uninformed and away from the affairs of the DDCA, his signatures were forged in the Vakalatnama (appointment of a lawyer) filed before the Delhi High Court. The secretary has now lodged an FIR over the forgery of his signatures. The joint secretary has signed the Vakalatnama purported to be filed on behalf of the secretary, as under the DDCA constitution only the secretary can sue or be sued in a court of law.
There are serious corruption charges leveled against Rohan Jaitley. Bhardwaj said the money is not spent on the promotion of cricket in the city but is wasted on excessive staff, as recently the president appointed 27 persons to the association office, which was unnecessary. He also said charges for the room that was booked for Jyotsna Sahani were borne by DDCA.
When asked whether he has approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter, Bhradwaj said he has sent a letter to the PMO seeking an audience with the prime minister.
Photo: Sanjay Bhardwaj, former Delhi Ranji player and Director (Cricket) DDCA.