After months of shadowboxing, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) president VK Verma and secretary Vijai Sinha have taken their fight to court with the latter getting a restrain order against Tuesday’s extraordinary Executive Council meeting.
Verma has called for an emergency meeting to decide on BAI's reply to a civil writ filed in the Rajasthan High Court challenging his re-election for a fourth consecutive term. Verma and Sinha are at loggerheads over who controls the day-to-day functioning of BAI and Tuesday's meeting was an opportunity for Verma to push Sinha to the periphery.
Though the court case was the trigger for the meeting, the president also added two points to the agenda — a discussion on the inquiry report into alleged misappropriation of funds by Uttar Pradesh Badminton Association (UPBA) secretary, Sinha, for BAI's AGM in April and non submission of accounts for the Syed Modi Grand Prix last December.
Verma had earlier called for an executive committee meeting in August to discuss both the issues but the BAI president decided to take up the issue earlier. Sources confirmed that the idea was to nullify Sinha's opposition by either initiating disciplinary action or even suspending him from the executive. "Both the points are really not very big. But in the current power struggle we cannot rule out any stern action, including suspension," said a senior BAI official.
However, pre-empting such action, Sinha moved to the Civil Court in Lucknow alleging that aim of the meeting was "to stop him from carrying out his duties". The Court upheld his plea and restrained BAI from taking any decision till the next hearing on Wednesday.
Verma did not respond to calls but a senior BAI official confirmed that the meeting would take place as scheduled.
"There is no stay on holding the meeting. Everyone is coming to Delhi," said joint secretary Punniah Choudhary. Sinha is in minority in the Executive Committee but is unlikely to go down without a fight.