DDCA Ombudsman asks Sharma to continue; Tihara challenges authority

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The battle in the corridors of power in the Delhi and Delhi Cricket Association has intensified a day after president Rajat Sharma had resigned from his office and the DDCA.

The DDCA ombudsman Justice (Retd) Badar Durrez Ahmed on Sunday had ordered Sharma and the other senior management staff, who had tendered their resignations after Sharma quit the post, to continue delivering their respective duties in the cricket body. The ombudsman had also stopped reinstatement of general-secretary Vinod Tihara after a majority of the apex council members has adopted a resolution to revoke the earlier decision to suspend the secretary pending an inquiry by the ombudsman.

Tihara in an email to the ombudsman has challenged his authority and jurisdiction in the matter. “Your order is without authority vested in you by Memorandum and Articles of Association (of the DDCA),” Tihara has stated in an email to the Ombudsman.

InsideSport.co is in possession of the content of Tihara’s mail sent to Justice (Retd) Badar Durrez Ahmed. The letter is also marked to the Apex Council members.

Read: Rajat Sharma quits as DDCA president and member

“The order passed by your good self is to revoke/ nullify voluntary resignations of office bearers on behest of a third party… is impermissible in law. The resignations are submitted to the apex council and not the ombudsman,” Tihara has said in the email.

He has further stated that since his suspension was made by the Apex Council, it was the competent body with “absolute and unfettered right to withdraw the same”.

Sharma in a bold move has also challenged Justice (Retd) Badar Durrez Ahmed’s authority to pass any such orders as his “term in office” was already over. “Your appointment under the Articles of Association is for a period of one year. Your good self was appointed on 30.6.2018 and your term has come to an end. Therefore, your order is without authority of law and without jurisdiction,” the email further states..

Earlier on Saturday, Sharma in his resignation had cited his inability to continue amidst “various pulls and pressures”. He though had not named anyone in the resignation letter.

On Sunday, three apex council members – Rajan Tewari, Darshan Singh and Siddharth Singh – had lodged separate complaints with the ombudsman, challenging the resolutions adopted by the nine members of the council. These included a resolution to withdraw the special powers vested in the DDCA president. Before the resolution could have been acted upon Sharma had tendered his resignation.

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Siddharth Singh had challenged the resolutions on the ground that these were not circulated to all members of the apex council.

“Three purported resolutions are said to have been passed by circulation by the Apex Council on 13.11.2019. These purported resolutions are said to be illegal,” the ombudsman stated in his order, a copy of which is in possession of PTI.

“One purported resolution seeks to reinstate Mr. Vinod Tihara, as the Secretary, DDCA, who was suspended on 2.11.2019 by the Apex Council and in respect of which a reference was made to the Ombudsman.

“It is pertinent to note that the reference is pending with me and Mr. Vinod Tihara had been given two weeks’ time to respond. No reply has been received from Mr. Vinod Tihara.”

The Ombudsman added: “Prima facie no purported resolution reinstating Mr. Vinod Tihara ought to have been passed when the very issue was under consideration of the Ombudsman.”

The Ombudsman in his order stated that Apex Council can’t pass any order as the resignations of Sharma and other office bearers “will be kept in abeyance”.

“All these persons who had tendered their resignations shall continue to discharge their duties in the interest of the game of cricket.

“No further resolution in this regard be sought to be passed by members of the Apex Council without the permission of the Ombudsman and without following proper procedure.”

Acting upon the three complaints, the ombudsman has stated, “the three purported  resolutions are said to be illegal and non-est. While fixing a hearing on the complaints for November 27, the Ombudsman had also observed that “no order on Tihara ought to have been passed when  the issue was under consideration of the Ombudsman”.

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