Madras High Court orders AICF elections on Feb 10 in Chennai

The Madras High Court directed the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to conduct the election on February 10 for the purpose of electing new office-bearers.

The judge also called for conduct of the general body meeting on February 10 as per the earlier notice of the president dated December 18, 2019 and restrained him from appointing the returning officer. .(Representative Image)   -  Getty Images

In a setback to the Bharat Singh Chauhan faction, the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed that the All India Chess Federation (AICF) elections be held in Chennai on February 10.

As originally announced by president P.R. Venketrama Raja, the court said that the AICF general body meeting will be held on February 10 for the purpose of electing new office-bearers.

Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy gave the order while disposing off an application filed by the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association for an interim injunction to restrain AICF secretary Chauhan from convening the special meeting of the general body on February 9 in Ahmedabad.

ALSO READ| Caruana clinches Tata Steel Masters; Anand finishes joint sixth

The judge said “once a special meeting has to be convened by the President in accordance with law, prima facie, there is no scope for a requisitioned meeting to be held. In other words, such requisitioned meetings are to be held when the office-bearers of the company or society refuse to convene a meeting in spite of being requisitioned to do so“.

“It is also evident that AICF cannot have two meetings on February 9 and February 10 to transact the same business. For all these reasons, I find that the applicant has made out a strong prima facie case for the grant of an interim injunction to restrain the conduct of the special meeting of the general body on February 9 to elect the office-bearers,” he added.

The judge also called for conduct of the general body meeting on February 10 as per the earlier notice of the president dated December 18, 2019 and restrained him from appointing the returning officer.

The two factions had approached the court, claiming the decisions taken at the respective general body meetings were valid.

ALSO READ| Praggnanandhaa stuns former world champ Topalov in Gibraltar chess

The federation president and secretary have been at loggerheads over various issues.

While the Raja faction had held a meeting in Chennai in December last and decided to call for the special general body meeting here on February 10, the Chauhan group’s meet in Bhopal had called for the elections on February 9 in Ahmedabad.

The two factions have been making allegations against each other on various issues including the controversy in the Bengal Chess Association.

FIDE Zone 3.7 president R.M. Dongre, who belongs to the Raja camp and would contest for the post of AICF secretary, said it was a victory for the president’s camp and a setback for Chauhan.

“Delegates of 19 State associations are supporting Raja,” he added.

ALSO READ| Tata Steel Masters Chess: Anand draws with Kovalev

Retired Supreme Court judge Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifullah will be the returning officer for the elections, Dongre said.

With the High Court having announced the date of the elections in Chennai, he said there should not be any hurdles in conduct of the polls.

The two factions have put up their respective voter lists on the AICF website.

  Dugout videos