Ombudsman rejects demand for documents in conflict of interest case

Ombudsman rejects demand for documents in conflict of interest case

Ombudsman cum ethics officer Justice (Retd) DK Jain has rejected complainant Sanjeev Gupta’s request for access to contractual obligations of cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman with their respective franchises in the alleged ‘conflict of interest’ issue.

The allegations levelled against the two cricket stars pertain to their dual role as mentors/icons of Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad apart from being members of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).

Gupta had three specific demands:

  1. A) A copy of Tendulkar and Laxman’s contract with their respective franchise.
  2. B) A copy of MI and SRH’s eligible list of players, team officials, team management, etc., supplied to BCCI / BCCI ACU for allowing them to sit in dugout and to enter into the restricted ground area.
  1. C) A copy of BCCI Anti-Corruption Units norms/ rules for allowing the players, team officials, team management, etc., of IPL franchisee to sit in the dugout and to enter into the restricted ground area.

However it has been learnt that Justice Jain instructed Gupta to file his response by May 7 as he felt that documents demanded by the complainant was not necessary to file response.

Gupta, a life member of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA), on Wednesday filed his response after both players in their respective responses categorically denied having any conflict of interest.

“I have filed my response and my contention remains that both players are conflicted. They (franchises) might change nomenclature from icon to mentor but this is conflict of interest,” Gupta said.

An angry Laxman even went to the extent of being ready to recuse himself from Cricket Advisory Committee while Tendulkar categorically made it clear that he enjoys no monetary benefit as an ‘Icon’ of Mumbai Indians.

Both Tendulkar and Laxman have said that they are open to in person hearing if the ethics officer summons them.

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