Scotfree corruption in the name of Hockey World Cup: FIH should free itself of circuitous crime

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is a matter of pride for every Oriya that Orissa was allowed to host FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup-2023. But every Oriya is ashamed of the fact that scotfree corruption in the name of Hockey World Cup has severely drained the treasury of the poor State where no less than 80% of the population has been forced to digest the ignominy of thrieving on free rice, as oppressive unemployment and menacing shrinkage of sources of livelihood has ruined their power to purchase the most minimum food for survival. There would never have been Hockey World Cup in Orissa, if International Hockey Federation (FIH) had not allowed it. Hence, FIH cannot escape collateral responsibility for blatant corruption in organising the tournament.

The last World Cup was the beginning of this practice of corruption. Authorities are refusing to give details of money spent in its name . To different RTI queries, the common reply from the authorities is “the accounts of Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup-2018 has not been settled till date.”

According to Mr. Pradeep Pradhan, Chief of Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan, members of civil society have filed statutory FIR against the Chief Minister and concerned officials, which is gathering dust, instead of being investigated into. Below is the Copy of Mr. Pradhan’s communication.

FIR filed in Capital Police Station, Bhubaneswar against Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister and Mr. Vishal Dev, Secretary, Dept. of Youth Affairs and Sports , Govt. of Odisha for Huge Black-marketing of World Hockey Cup ticket in Bhubaneswar

To day on 29.11.18, Members of Civil Society Groups filed FIR against Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister and Mr. Vishal Dev, Secretary, Dept. of Youth Affairs and Sports , Govt. of Odisha for Huge Black-marketing of World Hockey Cup ticket in Bhubaneswar. Referring news carried in media about allegation by some people about black-marketing of tickets for World Hockey Cup, we have complained that cost of ticket @Rs.100 was black-marketed at the rate of Rs.1000.00 and ticket at Es.500.00 sold at Rs.4000.00.

Earlier, the State Govt. had declared that the ticket for world cup would be booked on-line. But the on-line system did not work. Many people could not book ticket on-line and were forced to book the ticket from counter at Kalinga stadium. It was also learnt that this was a big conspiracy by a few handful state officials and brokers engaged by Mr. Vishal Dev for black-marketing
the tickets to get huge benefits.

As we feel, World Hockey Cup is an international event having global importance. The people of Odisha must have craze to enjoy this global event organized in Bhubaneswar. As the expense for this programme is being borne from state exchequer, the state Govt. should make all necessary arrangements for the citizens to watch this event. But the state apparatus has used this
event as opportunity to gain benefits through illegal means i.e., blackmarketing the tickets. As we foresee, this is a multi-crore scam with involvement of corrupt officials at the instance of Vishal Dev.

It is also learnt that Vishal Dev and Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister and other government officer are involved in giving out inflated contracts for the World Hockey Games to the tune of crores of Rupees arbitrarily thereby misutilising their official positions for their private gain.The said accused persons entered into criminal conspiracies and further have managed to award to their supporters for their financial gain at the expense of state exchequer.

Corruption and the irregularities in the organization of the games are rampant , as a large amount of money was spent in these games despite the fact that Odisha has one of the world’s largest concentration of poor people. The organizing committee and the games officials were alleged for doing corruption at various levels of organization, delays in the construction of games’ venues,
infrastructural compromise, possibility of terrorist attack and many more. The organisers have appointed Loyalists in Key positions at the with due knowledge of the Chief Minister and his Private Secretary (V.K. pandian). Employees and consultants and advisors were hired on criteria other than merit.Candidates with questionable background were accommodated, especially at senior
positions with decision-making powers.The Organizing Committee kept misrepresenting a revenue neutral position to justify extravagant spending.croresof Rupees were spent on a reckless exercise of hiring celebrities and people unrelated with the Hockey sports only for pleasure and taking undue advantage in the upcoming election in 2019. In these facts and circumstances, the matter is required to be investigated into by the CBI under the Prevention of Corruption Act and under various sections of Indian Penal Code.

In the world hockey games multi crore rupees was wasted and a huge amount of public’s money was stolen by the corrupt politicians and the bureaucrats to project this a mega event where the accountability and the transparency is zeroed down.

It is learnt that Naveen pattnaik led Government, under the direct supervision of his private secretary, V.K. Pandian had appointed several consultants, who had been paid hefty amounts for consultancy and other services but they hardly did any work.We have demanded an inquiry into it and urged police to take legal action against the people involved in it. The police has received our complaint but not yet registered the case.

The complainants were Pradeep Pradhan, RTI Activist, Sanjukta Panigrahi, Biswa Keshari Mohanty, Bhadrak, Santosh Mohanty, Mayurbhanj, Sri Prakash Jena, Bhadrak and many others
Reported by
Pradeep Pradhan

Mr. Pradhan and his co-signatories to the complaint are well known campaigners against corruption in Orissa. The very fact that the details of the last World Cup played in Orissa showing justification of expenditure are not yet put before the taxpayers, despite lapse of long four years, speaks volumes of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s sharp practices against the State Treasury in association with the FIH.

The International Hochey Federation needs be treated as guilty of circuitous crime against public treasury of a sponsoring State if details of expenditure over the tournament with justification are not published by the sponsor within a month or two of the tournament, as no such tournament could ever be held without its express permission and collaboration. When FIH has granted Orissa Government the permission to use its name, it shall have to ensure transpirency in its transaction.

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