Legal recourse against DDCA Ombudsman's action mooted

Ravinder Manchanda, a member of DDCA Advisory Committee, says the Ombudsman has exceeded his brief and the DDCA is seeking legal options to challenge him.

Members of the DDCA Apex Council asserted their power to run cricket affairs at the Feroz Shah Kotla.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

In a show of strength, nine members of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) Apex Council, asserted their power to run cricket affairs at the Feroz Shah Kotla. “We have assembled to make our point that we are not being heard,” said Ravinder Manchanda, leading the campaign against DDCA president Rajat Sharma.

Manchanda spoke to the media in his capacity as a member of the DDCA Advisory Committee. “I am not an Apex Council member but I have spent many years at the DDCA and am well versed with cricket administration. Rajat Sharma is a friend but here I am not happy with the way he has handled his power at the DDCA,” said Manchanda, whose younger brother, Rajan, is the joint-secretary in the current setup.

“Rajat Sharma resigned from his position and it is deemed to be accepted by the Apex Council in accordance with the rules of the association,” insisted Ravinder Manchanda. The grouse of the Apex Council members was not against Rajat Sharma as much as the “functioning” of the DDCA Ombudsman Justice (Retd) Badar Durrez Ahmed.

Former first-class cricketer and Director (cricket) Sanjay Bhardwaj alleged the Ombudsman had not responded to their complaints. “You can see we are in majority now. We seek audience with the Ombudsman,” said Bhardwaj.

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According to Ravinder Manchanda there was no transparency in the DDCA's functioning. “The Ombudsman has clearly exceeded his brief and we are seeking legal options to challenge him. No one has a clue as to how the DDCA is being run today,” he charged.

The suspended secretary of the DDCA, Vinod Tihara, was invited by those addressing the media. “My suspension is not legal and I have already challenged it,” he claimed.

The nine members of the Apex Council claimed corrupt practices in team selections. “Delhi has performed poorly this season because of faulty team compositions and we are going to correct that by having a new Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) who will appoint fresh selectors,” said Rajan Manchanda.

Those who attended the meeting, called without the sanction of Rajat Sharma, were Rakesh Bansal, Rajan Manchanda, Vinod Tihara, Apoorv Jain, Sanjay Bhardwaj, Renu Khanna, Nitin Gupta, Shiv Nandan Sharma and Alok Mittal.

Justice Ahmed, in his order on November 17, put Rajat Sharma's resignation in “abeyance” and asked CEO Ravikant Chopra, CFO P. C. Vaish and GM (Cricket Operations) Manvi Dhodhi to discharge their duties in the “interest of the game.” Rajat Sharma assumed charge on Monday.

Justice Ahmed has fixed November 27 to hear the matter.