New Delhi, Oct. 25: After weeks of legal tussle, the decks were cleared for elections to the country’s apex cricket body as the rival parties today agreed on polls by November 30 with former chief election commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy as observer.
Calcutta will be the venue of the elections and the annual general meeting that would follow, both of which should not be “later than November 30”.
Once the two camps reached this “consensus”, they submitted it before a Supreme Court bench of Justices B.P. Singh, S.B. Sinha and P.K. Balasubramanyan. The court posted the matter to December 12 “for further directions if needed”.
The consensus came after weeks of acrimony that saw the 76th AGM of the Board of Control for Cricket in India adjourned on September 23. Unsure of the numbers, ruling group chief Jagmohan Dalmiya and challenger Sharad Pawar had agreed to a draw.
Later, in a scathing observation, the Supreme Court had remarked that the entire controversy over the conduct of elections was “a fight of egos”.
In the drama that unfolded before the court today, senior counsel Harish Salve, who appeared for the Chennai-based Netaji Cricket Club, said his client would not accept Calcutta as the venue. Senior counsel for the board K.K. Venugopal and Soli J. Sorabjee countered, saying that Calcutta has been the venue, for “decades”.
“Moreover, the last meeting was an adjourned one,” Venugopal said. So the venue “cannot be changed”.
The rival parties first agreed to read out the points of concurrence. One of them was Krishnamurthy. The court said the former CEC would have the power to decide the eligibility of voters as well as of contesting candidates in accordance with BCCI rules.
One of the rules submitted by the board today ' Rule 5(i) ' says “only each full member shall have one vote” and associate members can only take part in the meeting.
Rule 1(b)(i) defines a “full member”; while 3(ii) names the full members and which was amended in the last meeting to replace the Bihar Cricket Association with that of Jharkhand. This has to be decided by the observer as Bihar claims the deletion is illegal. Rule 27(1) says the chairman will have one vote, while Rule 26 talks about the chairman’s casting vote in case of a tie.