BCCI to move Supreme Court against HC order

Published: Saturday, October 9, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to move Supreme Court against the order of Madras High Court to restrain all its newly elected office bearers from functioning.

Confirming the development a top BCCI source here said that discussions with the Board lawyers were continuing in this regard.

The BCCI source further said that the Board is waiting for the copy of the order passed by the Madras High Court yesterday on a review petition filed by the Chennai-based Netaji Cricket Club, an affiliate of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.

The date for moving the apex court would be decided after the receipt of the order of the copy, the source said.

A Division Bench of Madras High Court in its order has restrained the newly elected president Ranbir Singh Mahendra and other office-bearers and also appointed retired Supreme Court Judge S Mohan as interim administrator to run the affairs of the Board, subject to his consent.

The order was passed on the petitioner's demand for setting aside of the elections held in Kolkata on September 29, restraining the newly-elected office bearers from functioning and appointment of an interim administrator to conduct the Board's affairs till the disposal of the petition.

Mahendra had been elected in a highly contentious election narrowly beating Maharashtra politician Sharad Pawar by 16-15 with the help of the casting vote by the outgoing president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

The Madras High Court bench comprising Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice K Ravipandian had passed the order on the review petition by Netaji Cricket Club alleging that an undertaking given to court by the BCCI earlier had been violated.

"Prima Facie, we feel that an undertaking given before the court, pertaining to the conduct of the election, has been violated. We are satisfied there is a prima facie case for granting interim orders," the bench had said.

The same bench had on September 29 allowed the BCCI to go ahead with its election after the BCCI counsel had given an undertaking that "the appellant (BCCI) shall not disqualify any candidate for the post of president on the grounds of residence".

The order had been passed on an appeal by BCCI against the September 28 order of Justice S Ashok Kumar appointing Justice Mohan as commissioner to conduct the election on a suit by Netaji Cricket Club that it apprehended the elections may not be conducted in a free and fair manner.

The bench had set aside the order of appointing a commissioner for the election but had said the Board shall conduct the elections strictly in accordance with the provisions of its constitution and the rules and by-laws.

Sharad Pawar, who contested as a nominee of the Punjab Cricket Association since it was North Zone's turn to propose a candidate for the post of the president, was allowed to fight the election.

But the representative of the Maharashtra Cricket Association, D Agashe was disallowed from representing his association on technical ground.

This disqualification apparently cost Pawar the election as Agashe had openly declared his support for him and had he voted for the NCP supremo would have won the election in normal course with no need for chairman of the meeting, Dalmiya using his casting vote.

Agashe has also sought leave of Madras High Court to file a review application and he has been granted leave by the court.

Interestingly the newly elected office-bearers of BCCI has not taken over as yet as the Annual General Meeting could not be completed. It has been adjourned till October 26 because it could not complete all its agenda due to an order of Chennai City Civil court staying the appointment of Dalmiya as the Board's Patron-in-Chief.

As per the BCCI rules the new office-bearers can take over only after the completion of the AGM.

The order had been passed on a petition by Bharathi Cricket Club of Chennai challenging appointment of Dalmiya to the new post and the matter was now pending before the High Court following a revision petition filed by BCCI.

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