Hyderabad: The top two chairs at the Hyderabad Cricket Association felt vacant on Thursday after Ombudsman/ Ethics Officer Justice (retired) Narasimha Reddy disqualified G. Vivekanand and T. Sheshnarayan as president and secretary of the Association respectively based on complaints lodged by members.
While Vivek was barred under the ‘Government Servant’ and ‘Conflict of Interest’ clauses, Shesh suffered as his name figures as an accused in charge-sheets.
While directing the HCA to hold elections to the two posts, Justice Reddy named vice-president K. Anil Kumar as in-charge president and treasurer P. Mahendra as in-charge secretary. “They shall, however, not take any policy decisions, except through a proper resolution of a General Body,” the order read.
Former Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumatha Rao, former India cricketers Mohammad Azharuddin and Arshad Ayub; former HCA secretary John Manoj and former committee member C. Babu Rao Sagar were among those who filed grievances with the Ombudsman. Advocate Adnan Mehmood had represented Arshad and John in the Conflict of Interest matter before the Ombudsman.
“A clear ‘conflict of interest’ exists vis-a-vis G. Vivekanand, the president of HCA, on account of the commercial contract between M/s Visakha Industries, of which he is a Director, and Hyderabad Cricket Association. He also stands disqualified as President of HCA on account of his appointment as an Advisor to Government, through G.O Ms No. 2601, dated 30-11-2006,” Justice Reddy’s order read.
Visakha is involved in an arbitration battle with the HCA over their sponsorship contract dating back to 2004 before the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium was built.
“T. Sheshnarayan stands disqualified on account of his figuring as an accused in the charge-sheets,” the order read. Shesh said he had grounds to contest going by his lawyers’ opinion. “I have been charge-sheeted, along with 44 other HCA officials, by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and not the court. This order is pre-emptive. Matter with regard to charge-sheeted officials is pending with a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court. I feel it’s conviction in a court of law that should matter, not being charge-sheeted,” Shesh said.
However, “As a law abiding citizen, I’m prepared to quit if I am under the ambit of law — as of now, I’m not. I will deliberate the future course of action,” he added.
The disqualifications of the top two mean the nine-member HCA has shrunk to five — the joint secretary’s post is caught up in a legal wrangle while male players’ representative J. Shivaji Yadav is also likely to be disqualified under the ‘government servant’ clause on account of his being employed with the Income Tax department. Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Income Tax department has attached the accounts of HCA against dues. Taxing times.