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BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary questions CoA chief Rai why office-bearers are being deprived of legal rights

In a mail, accessed by Hindustan Times, the acting secretary has questioned the ways in which the CoA chief has delayed the re-appointment of Rajiv Singh on the ‘flimsy pretext’ that the matter can be considered only at a meeting of both the CoA members as only Diana Edulji has approved the same.

cricket Updated: Jan 04, 2019 21:40 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Amitabh Choudhary.
File image of Amitabh Choudhary.(PTI)
         

With the all important Supreme Court hearing coming up on January 17, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has questioned SC-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai’s decision to not approve legal advisor Rajiv Singh’s functioning as a representative of the BCCI office-bearers. Under Rule 44 of the new registered constitution of the BCCI, the board can sue and be sued only in the name of the secretary.

In a mail, accessed by Hindustan Times, the acting secretary has questioned the ways in which the CoA chief has delayed the re-appointment of Singh on the ‘flimsy pretext’ that the matter can be considered only at a meeting of both the CoA members as only Diana Edulji has approved the same.

“When the all important Supreme Court matter is slated for the 17th of this month, why should the approval by one half of the CoA be made redundant for weeks on the flimsy pretext that the matter can be considered only at a meeting of both the members? Did the proposal appointing Rajiv Singh as legal advisor not have the approval of Ms Diana Eduljee, who represents half the CoA?

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“Can the BCCI constitution (as mandated by the SC) be overruled by one individual’s diktats? If the answer to this is in the negative how and under what authority are these provisions being overruled?” he enquired.

The acting secretary also spoke about how an ad hoc committee was formed to select the next women’s coach when it was the job of the Cricket Advisory Committee — comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — to pick the same.

“According to the registered BCCI constitution, which is being repeatedly and cynically quoted, does the process of national team coach selection not lie entirely and only with the CAC? If that be so, how was a so called ad hoc committee constituted for the job despite half of CoA penning down her objections?

“Is it not a fact that half of CoA was against it’s so called recommendations and the execution of the contract on its basis?” he asked.

Amitabh then went ahead to mention how Edulji had earlier said that there was enough material to remove CEO Rahul Johri after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against him, but a committee was formed and she was overruled and Johri allowed to resume work.

“Did Edulji not make it clear even before the composition of the so called ‘independent committee’ in the sexual harrasment case that there was enough material for the CEO to be proceeded against?

“Did the same half of the CoA not further think that such material existed for his immediate removal after the so called report of the so called independent committee? If that be so, how was she overruled to facilitate resumption of duty by the CEO?” he asked.

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He summed up by asking Rai how protection of the rights of an elected office bearer, sanctioned by the constitution, being squelched when half of CoA has already approved the same.

“If one man’s dictatorial and unilateral fiats are being executed in far more important matters which are even violative of the constiution, how is urgent protection of the rights of an elected Office Bearer, sanctioned by the constitution, being squelched when half of CoA has already approved the same,” he signed off.

Rai though made it clear that the previous order of the CoA stands and the board will not pay for the lawyers engaged by the office-bearers unless the same is approved in a meeting of both members of the CoA.

“The services of Singh were terminated pursuant to CoA directions dated 23rd August 2018. The said directions can be modified only by a subsequent COA decision/direction. Since there is no decision taken by the COA to revise its earlier decision, the said decision taken on 27th August 2018 stands and continues to operate. Until the COA takes a decision on this issue, BCCI will neither employ the services of Rajiv Singh nor will pay for the same.

“As regards the upcoming hearing before the Supreme Court, office bearers are of course free to engage any lawyer of their choice to canvass your views before the Supreme Court, as was done in engaging Puneet Bali. However, as per the COA Directions dated 23rd August 2018, the BCCI will not bear the cost of any such lawyer(s),” he wrote.

First Published: Jan 04, 2019 21:29 IST

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