The basis on which the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has appointed a CEO has been challenged in court.
In a petition filed by S Viswanathan, secretary, Tiruchirapalli Tennis Association — affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association — he has challenged the very basis of the national tennis body appointing Hironmoy Chatterjee as the CEO by violating their own rules and regulations.
The plaint states that, “The post of CEO does not exist in the hierarchy of the AITA as set out in the memorandum of association (MoA) and rules. The AITA is not empowered to appoint Chatterjee as CEO without first creating a post by amending the MoA.”
Conflict of interest
Chatterjee was appointed in November 2012 on the plea that it was “necessary that one of our colleagues who understands tennis and is willing to spearhead this effort under the overall guidance and control of the management committee and the executive committee should be asked to become the CEO of the AITA”.
The petition also states that Chatterjee’s appointment has an element of conflict of interest because he is also the president of the Bengal Tennis Association, executive committee member of the AITA and chairman of the Indian Tennis League.
The petition also adds that Chatterjee, whose role was to oversee the administration of the AITA, was attending selection committee meetings and getting involved in the selection process for the Davis Cup. “In the executive committee meetings held in July, September and October last year, there was no mention on the appointment of a CEO… the appointment was not approved by the full and associate members but had apparently only the cooperation of the AITA president Anil Khanna and secretary-general Bharat Oza,” the petition states.
On February 3, the appointment was ratified for a period of one year, beginning November 2012. “There is no question of ratification of an illegal appointment,” the plaint reads. When contacted, Chatterjee said, he had not received any notice. “We’ll reply accordingly when it comes.”