CoA issues notice to stop SGM, angry members say 'can’t stop us'

The old guard of the BCCI, along with current office bearers, is in no mood to budge from its stand and it feels the meeting will be held as per the schedule.

The CoA has asked the BCCI employees to refrain from entertaining any invoices (bills) raised by the state unit officials with regards to the SGM. (Representational Image)   -  Special Arrangement

The tug of war between the BCCI office bearers and the CoA on Friday took an ugly turn after the Vinod Rai-led committee issued a directive to stop the June 22 Special General Meeting of the affiliated units, to the dismay of the Board’s senior officials.

The old guard of the BCCI, along with current office bearers, is in no mood to budge from its stand and it feels the meeting will be held as per the schedule.

However, the CoA has asked the BCCI employees to refrain from entertaining any invoices (bills) raised by the state unit officials with regards to the SGM.

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The CoA deemed the meeting illegal as no permission had been sought as per the March 15 guidelines, which required prior permission from the Supreme Court-appointed committee to conduct an SGM.

While the sparring has been on for some time between the two parties, what has irked the office-bearers is the tone of the letter where it has used the tactic of stopping the TA/DA and flight reimbursement of the members for the meeting.

“The approval of the CoA has neither been sought nor provided in relation to the SGM to be held on 22nd June 2018,” the CoA wrote in its email to the employees.

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“Till further instructions from the CoA, it is directed that no BCCI employee/consultant/retainer/service provider shall prepare and - or - circulate any papers in respect of the said SGM, or in any way Act further to or in aid of the notice (including without limitation incurring any cost or expenses towards the said SGM by way of bookies etc.),” it added.

Acting secretary Chaudhary, who has taken the COA head wrote to units: “Kindly peruse the forwarded e-mail received from CoA a short while ago. In my view, its contents are without jurisdiction and do not have any support in law or legal pronouncements. In this connection, kindly also go through the detailed e-mail sent by the undersigned on May 4, 2018, to all member associations.”

The meeting was summoned after more than 15 units wrote to acting president C.K. Khanna for an SGM. Khanna, in turn, wrote to acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, asking him to issue a notice for SGM as per the mandated three-week time.

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A senior BCCI official said that the CoA does not have the authority to forcibly stop the SGM as it’s the right of the members. “If the issue of communication is without having the authority to issue one, the communication cannot have any force,” a senior official said.

The senior official, who is conversant with the judicial process, then went onto explain what he meant. “For example, the COA cannot issue a communication directing the arrest of an individual. If they issue such a communication, the communication will definitely exist, but it shall be without any force. The rules and regulations of the BCCI or the BCCI itself have not been extinguished,” he added.

He even termed the CoA’s attempt to stop the SGM “contempt of court”. “A requisitioned (SGM) meeting is mandatory and any attempt to derail the same may tantamount to violation of the law and possibly contempt of court. This communication appears to depict animosity towards and bias against the very organization which the COA has been mandated with the supervision of its administration.”

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A senior state unit official termed it an “obfuscation” as the CoA was not mandated to take a call on policy matters. “The CoA is intentionally obfuscating the clear demarcation between matters of administration and matters of policy to suit some design known only to themselves. It is regrettable that people of such stature (Rai and Diana Edulji) have stooped to this level repeatedly,” he said.

There are 10 issues that the members want to discuss and prominent among them are the revenue-sharing dispute with the ICC, running of NCA by the cricket operations team and various appointments made by the Human Resources team.