CoA talks tough: DDCA Elections could be declared invalid

Vinod Rai (left) and Rajat Sharma (right) - InsideSport

The Chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed BCCI’s Committee of Administrators Vinod Rai has said that the DDCA Elections, held without adhering to the “constitution” can be declared invalid.

In what would prove a big blow to senior journalist Rajat Sharma’s triumph in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) elections, CoA chairman Vinod Rai has hinted that the elections could be declared invalid on ethical and constitutional grounds.

Rajat Sharma won the presidential post of DDCA by defeating the World Cup winning India cricketer Madan Lal by 517 votes. Sharma’s group has completed a clean sweep in the DDCA elections held over the last month end.

The election has been mired in controversies as it saw family members of several DDCA officials – some of them tainted – filing nominations. The appointment of the ombudsman which was done on the final day of polling has also been questioned, national daily Indian Express has reported.

“Since these DDCA elections took place without a constitution that is endorsed by the Supreme Court, it can get annulled at a later date,” Vinod Rai was quoted as saying by Indian Express. He also pointed to the DDCA’s failure in putting in place the Supreme Court-advocated checks and balances to avert possible conflict of interest situations.

“There are very strict conflict of interest norms laid down by the Lodha committee. The ombudsman and an ethics officer ensure that conflict of interest norms are not attracted adversely. These elections took place without the scrutiny of an ombudsman or an ethics officer, so there remains a question mark over the qualification of candidates to fight elections,” he said.

Sharma’s win ended BCCI acting president CK Khanna’s three-decade reign in DDCA affairs. In a major setback for Khanna, his wife Shashi lost the vice-presidential battle against Rakesh Bansal, younger brother of former DDCA president Sneh Bansal. Rajesh beat Shashi by 278 votes while Bansal junior got 1364 votes to Shashi’s 1086 votes.

Incidentally, the DDCA election was held under the watch of the High Court-appointed administrator, Justice Vikramajit Sen, who took charge at Feroz Shah Kotla after an audit report found several cases of embezzlement and illegal transfer of funds by Delhi’s long-standing office-bearers.

Rai said that there was nothing in the Supreme Court order that stops wives, brothers and sons of office-bearers from contesting, but he added that “there is an element of ethical inadequacy”.  “One should be guided more by the spirit of the law than the letter,” he added.

Like the DDCA, most BCCI units are yet to include Justice Lodha’s observations in their constitutions. The matter related to the DDCA polls could come up in the Supreme Court hearing on July 5.

Also Read:  Journalist Rajat Sharma is new DDCA boss