ACA secretary Bikash Baruah banned for life

CHEQUE & CASH RECOVERY CASE : ACA governing body directs filing FIR, to approach BCCI seeking fresh cheques for players

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Jan 10: In a landmark decision hailed by the cricketing fraternity, the Governing Body of Assam Cricket Association on Sunday imposed a life ban on Bikash Baruah, ending his long stint as the secretary of the State cricket body which was marred by myriad controversies.

The decision was taken by the ACA Governing Body which met today at the Barsapara Stadium here in the wake of the recent recovery of 61 cheques from the drawer of the ACA secretary. The cheques, amounting to over Rs 12 lakh, were issued by the BCCI for State players, but they were never handed over to the beneficiaries.

ACA president Gautam Roy said along with the cheques, Rs 9.5 lakh cash and objectioble materials were also recovered from Baruah’s drawer which was opened on the instructions of the discipliry committee on January 3. The matter was reported to the ACA president Gautam Roy, who instructed that the cash should be kept with them and a decision be taken on January 10 in the governing body meeting.

“That was too much. The members of the governing body favoured a life ban which was accepted,” Roy told reporters after the meeting.

The governing body also decided that the ACA will file an FIR with police regarding recovery of the cheques and cash from Baruah’s drawer for necessary action. The recovered cash has been deposited with the police, sources told this newspaper in the evening.

Earlier, the ACA’s discipliry committee had slapped a showcause notice on the secretary. But Baruah wrote back seeking more time and information on certain points.

Roy said the ACA governing body also decided to take up with the BCCI the issue of cheque recovery. “We will see if we can make the BCCI issue fresh cheques. The ACA on its part will try to give the interest on the amounts to the players,” an ACA official said. Some of the cheques dated back to 2010.

If the BCCI does not agree to issue fresh cheques, the ACA will take legal recourse against Bikash Baruah to recover the money meant for players.

Meanwhile, the ACA governing body lifted the ban imposed on former joint secretary Bishnuram Nunisa. Nunisa was handed a ban five years ago after an incident of drunken brawl.

The governing body, however, could not fix a date for the ACA annual general meeting which is due since two years. “It will be decided after the court verdict,” Roy said.

The BCCI has stopped funds to the State cricket body as it has not been able to submit its annual accounts.

A former sports organizer Sahajanda Ojha had recently filed a PIL alleging several irregularities in the ACA.

Admitting the PIL, the Gauhati High Court had asked the police to take custody of all documents till the case is disposed off.

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