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Victory for Dalmiya but BCCI to fight on

The High Court directs that former cricket board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya is free to contest the upcoming Cricket Association of Bengal polls.
None | By Deepak Prahladka & Atreyo Mukhopadhyay, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2007 02:06 AM IST

The smile was back, after months, and Jagmohan Dalmiya looked and sounded like the confident, aggressive man he used to be before being slapped a life ban by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after being charged with misappropriation of funds during the 1996 World Cup hosted jointly by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

On Friday, the Calcutta High Court stayed the expulsion of the former ICC, BCCI and CAB president. Justice Indira Banerjee also stayed the BCCI’s order restraining Dalmiya from participating in elections at any unit affiliated to the board. The verdict cleared him to contest in the CAB elections coming up on July 28 though Dalmiya said he would stay away.

The judge said the BCCI’s resolution was without jurisdiction, as the board rules amended in 2000 were not notified to the registrar of societies within the stipulated period.

“The resolution submitted to the registrar of societies after six years was invalid. The registrar had no jurisdiction to condone the delay.

“Therefore, the registration of resolution was invalid,” said the judge, adding that the documents submitted by the BCCI were not certified.

The day’s developments also paved the way for more acrimony as the BCCI said it would challenge the decision at the division bench of the same court.

“We will go to the Supreme Court if needed,” said BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, who was in town to hear the verdict. Their lawyers requested the judge for a stay so that they could appeal to a two-judge bench, but she rejected the plea. They will file a fresh appeal on Monday.

A buoyant Dalmiya too put up a brave front. “It’s up to them to decide whether this is the end of the game. If they want to drag this, I will fight till the end,” he told HT shortly after a crowded media conference that was reminiscent of the days when he used to call the shots.

Apart from clinching a verdict which is certain to be interpreted as moral victory, Dalmiya went a step forward and filed a perjury case against the BCCI and its top office bearers — president Sharad Pawar, secretary Niranjan Shah, treasurer N. Srinivasan, vice-presidents Chirayu Amin and Shashank Manohar. Apart from Srinivasan, all were part of the disciplinary committee which found Dalmiya guilty and recommended the life ban at a special general meeting in Mumbai on December 16.

Dalmiya’s advocate alleged that the document filed before the court regarding the condoning of time application before the registrar of society was forged.

Those found guilty of producing false documents to the court can be sentenced up to seven years in jail.

“Truth has prevailed and this judgment shows that the judiciary is vibrant,” a beaming Dalmiya said.

“They (the BCCI) were taking the judiciary for granted and trying to eliminate me for ever. Let me tell you this is just the start. There are many things about the BCCI which the public must know.

“I will soon be back with them,” said the victorious veteran of numerous court battles.

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