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Court clips BAI chief Verma’s wings

The final word in the power struggle between the president and secretary of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) may rest with the court.

other Updated: Aug 03, 2010 23:51 IST
HT Correspondent

The final word in the power struggle between the president and secretary of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) may rest with the court.

Hearing a civil writ petition against the re-election of BAI president VK Verma, the Jodhpur bench of the Rajasthan High Court on Monday restricted the sport's governing body from changing the composition of BAI without the Court's permission and taking any coercive action against any member.

The two-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Jagdish Bhalla, however, declined the plea to prohibit Verma from functioning as the president and instead restricted him from taking any financial decisions till the next hearing on August 17.

Though the petition has been filed by two Rajasthan based players - Arshad Ali and Ram Bal Rathore - badminton circles have been abuzz with talks that secretary Dr Vijai Sinha was fighting a proxy war against the president, who is likely to suspend him on disciplinary grounds.

In fact, Verma had also hinted the same in his response to the Court when he mentioned that,

"Hence, his cause is being espoused by the Petitioners, who are hand in gloves with the said Dr Vijai Sinha as well as the Union of India."

However, Verma's counsel later asked the court's permission to withdraw the affidavit and file a new one.

Verma has called for an Executive Committee (EC) meeting on August 13 in Hyderabad.

One of the points on the agenda is the discussion on the investigation report on the financial irregularities by the general secretary.

Verma admitted that the EC would not be able to take a final decision on the topic without the approval of the Court but declined the opposition group's interpretation that the Court's interim order was a "stricture" against him.

"I don't think so. The judgment confirms BAI position since the president and secretary do not have any financial powers.

Every decision is taken by the EC with the proposals mailed to the members and their vote registered through email," he told Hindustan Times from Delhi.