Hyderabad: Amid a cloud over the January 17 elections to the Hyderabad Cricket Association initiated by the Ranga Reddy Court, former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin filed his nomination as president on Tuesday.
However, sources told this newspaper that he is not likely to get past the scrutiny stage when the final list of contestants is put up on January 14. This is because Azhar is not a registered voter of the National Cricket Club, on behalf of which he has filed his candidature. One Mr Christopher is the Club’s representative as per the letter submitted by NCC to the election commissioner. Tuesday was the last day for filing nominations.
Confusion also prevails with regard to Azhar’s eligibility to contest — banned by the BCCI for alleged match-fixing, he got a favourable order from the AP High Court in 2011 but BCCI has never officially lifted his ban.
Legal bump ahead of HCA poll
As many as 60 persons have submitted their candidature for six posts on the Justice Lodha-recommended Apex Council. Also, in a first, a lady member has entered the fray — P. Anuradha, wife of P. Yadagiri who had to demit office post the January 2 Supreme Court order for serving nine cumulative years as an office-bearer — has filed her nomination for all posts as of now, representing Shanti Club.
The last date for withdrawals is Thursday, when it will emerge which office she would run for. As per Lodha panel recommendations, the nine-member Apex Council is to have six elected members — president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary, treasurer and another ‘councillor’ to be elected by HCA members. Three other councillors are to be nominated — one each by male and female players associations and another nominated by the Comptroller & Auditor General.
Be that as it may, HCA secretary John Manoj says the very process of this election is flawed and will not stand in a court of law. They have already filed a petition in the High Court to stall it. The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing on Wednesday.
The polls have a bitter tinge given the incidents preceding it. On November 20 last year, the HCA unanimously adopted the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee recommendations at a Special General Meeting (SGM). However, after the SGM was called closed by then president Arshad Ayub, the rival camp went ahead with the meeting and appointed a three-member Adhoc Committee with vice-president Prakash Chand Jain as its chairman to hold elections.
The rival group subsequently moved the Ranga Reddy Court which allowed an interlocutory application petition filed by T. Sheshnarayan of the Bharat Cricket Club and appointed advocate K. Rajeev Reddy as commissioner to conduct elections. Later, Mr Reddy issued a notification dated 31-12-2016 to conduct elections to HCA’s Apex Council, “in consonance to the recommendations of Justice Lodha Committee and Supreme Court judgement and bye-laws of the Hyderabad Cricket Association.”
HCA officials say this is flagrant violation of the Supreme Court order. “As per the judgement of the Supreme Court at Para No. 33, the election process has to be conducted by an Election Officer who is a retired Central or respective State Election Commissioner,” they contend.
“In the event that no such person is available, any other former State Election Commissioner, preferably from a neighbouring state may be appointed. This Officer would conduct and supervise the entire process of elections from the filing of nominations to the declaration of results and the resolution of any disputes and objections during the election,” they quote from the Supreme Court order.
“The order passed by the Vth Additional District & Sessions Judge, Ranga Reddy District, in appointing an Advocate Commissioner to conduct the elections to the HCA is in contravention of the Supreme Court judgement. This is a fraud played on the lower court by the self-appointed Adhoc Committee,” HCA executive committee member and legal head Adnan Mehmood told reporters on Tuesday.
“Mr Prakash Chand Jain has filed a vakalat on behalf of the Hyderabad Cricket Association illegally and unlawfully and given his consent wrongly for conducting the elections. As per the Memorandum, Rules & Regulations of the HCA only the Secretary can represent the Association,” secretary John Manoj added.
Even as most of them have filed their nominations as well, the ruling group contend that the HCA constitution will need to be amended in tune with the Supreme Court’s ruling before elections are conducted. HCA officials want to wait till January 19 when the Supreme Court will nominate persons on a committee of administrators that will supervise the running of BCCI, for further course of action....