DDCA polls: After HC nod, COA intervention raises eyebrows in BCCI circle

Rajat Sharma - InsideSport

The BCCI has reacted sharply to Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai’s assertion that the recently-held Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) elections could be annulled, saying that the COA’s attempts at stopping the polls have already been rejected by the Delhi High Court.

Senior journalist Rajat Sharma and his panel, which had the backing of former DDCA President Arun Jaitley, won by an overwhelming majority defeating Madan Lal panel, which was being backed by acting BCCI president CK Khanna.

“If Rai is questioning the DDCA polls, then he is, in turn, questioning Delhi High Court’s order. On June 26, the Delhi High Court Vacation Bench of Justices Vinod Goel and Rekha Palli found no merit in the petition moved by DDCA member Ravi Mehra to put the elections on hold till BCCI constitution is finalised.

“That day, the COA lawyer was also present. The Bench had categorically said that they cannot stop the elections at this hour,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The DDCA was the first association to go to polls under the supervision of High Court appointed administrator Justice (Retd) Vikramajit Sen, who abolished the age-old proxy voting system, considered to be a root cause of corruption.

However, it is learnt that the COA is of the opinion that the election is not fully Lodha recommendations-compliant even though it was the Delhi High Court, which had instructed Justice Sen to conduct the elections by June 30.

The bone of contention here is about some of the candidates like Rakesh Bansal (vice-president and younger brother of tainted former president Sneh Bansal), Rajan Manchanda (joint secretary and younger brother of former treasurer Ravinder), Renu Khanna (woman director and wife of former office bearer Anil Khanna) to name a few.

While Justice Sen or Rai declined to comment, a DDCA official, privy to the development said that COA always wanted the elections to be put on hold but it was never in the hands of the DDCA administrator.

“Justice Sen was appointed by the Delhi High Court. It is the court that told him to go ahead and finish the election process by June 30. He did exactly that. It was not his prerogative to demand an exemption,” a senior DDCA official said.

“The COA could have moved a plea just after May 14 when High Court had passed the verdict about election date. No one would believe that Rai, who is never shy of sending a mail to stop of a BCCI SGM, couldn’t have approached High Court,” he added.

The COA, in one of its guidelines, issued for the State units had also said that any State units, which are going into elections, will be continued to be governed by the administrator till the new BCCI constitution is formally adopted.

However, it is reliably learnt that Justice Sen had made it clear that once there is a democratically elected body, he will hand over the reins and leave.

Accordingly, on July 2, Justice Sen formally handed over the charge to Sharma and left the DDCA premises.