Delhi High Court appears disinclined to stay DDCA polls

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The Delhi High Court on Monday appeared disinclined to stay the elections in the cricketing body DDCA, saying once the poll process has started it cannot be put on hold.

A vacation bench of Justices Vinod Goel and Rekha Palli was also of the view that the plea seeking stay of the DDCA elections should have been filed much earlier. It said it will give its decision later in the day.

The court was hearing a plea for stay of the polls in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) till finalisation of the constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by the Supreme Court. The lawyer for the petitioner, a DDCA member, contended that the apex court on May 1 had put on hold the elections in the Maharashtra state cricket board till BCCI constitution was finalised.

The bench said the petitioner — Ravi Mehra — ought to have come earlier for modification of the high court’s March 23 order, especially when the apex court decision was of May 1. During the brief arguments, the apex court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), which is assisting the Supreme Court in finalising BCCI’s constitution, told the court that the amended Articles of Association (AoA) of DDCA have deviations from the Justice Lodha panel recommendations.

The CoA also said that while under the amended AoA there can be 16 directors in DDCA, the number may go down to nine after finalisation of BCCI constitution. It further said the deviations were communicated to the DDCA’s court- appointed administrator, former Supreme Court judge Vikramajit Sen, and he was requested to move the high court for modification of its March 23 order.

The DDCA administrator, represented by advocates Saket Sikri and Pradeep Chhindra, opposed the plea which seeks modification of the high court’s March 23 order to hold the elections in eight weeks. This time limit was later extended till June 30 by the high court on April 15 on the administrator’s plea.

The high court on March 23 had also dismissed objections raised by members of the controversy-ridden DDCA against amendments, like abolition of proxy voting, to the AoA proposed the administrator. The proposed amendments also included making players’ representatives and women a part of its governing body, laying down eligibility conditions for being appointed as an office-bearer or director and affiliated clubs being required to provide details of disbursement of funds provided by DDCA and submit accounts to it.

In the elections to be held on June 30 to select the cricketing body’s executive committee, former India Test player and Delhi legend Madan Lal Sharma, noted journalist Rajat Sharma and senior advocate Vikas Singh are vying for the post of President.

Pushpendra Chauhan, the younger brother of former India Test opener Chetan Chauhan, is contesting for the post of joint secretary, while Rajan Manchanda, younger brother of former treasurer Ravinder Manchanda, is also a contender for the same post.

The administrator for proper functioning of the DDCA was appointed during the hearing of a 2010 petition of the cricketing body seeking occupancy certificate from South Delhi Municipal Corporation to hold matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground. The DDCA is yet to obtain a final structural stability certificate for its Feroz Shah Kotla stadium’s old club house also known as R P Mehra block.

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