Following a strongly-worded communication from the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) that the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) would be treated as a ‘defaulting state unit’ and the results of the elections (scheduled for May 2) would be declared null and void, the election officer, a former judge of the Bombay High Court, Dilip Karnik, has stepped down.
Sources told Sportstar that Justice Karnik has cited two important references made in the CoA letter as the reasons for stepping down.
Among the many anomalies the CoA’s legal team found out from that the election officer-appointed by the MCA was a former judge of the Bombay High Court, whereas the Lodha recommendations say that the election officer has to be a retired central or state Election Commissioner. In case, no such person is available, any other former state Election Commissioner from a neighbouring state can be appointed.
READ: 'We will declare your elections as null and void'
In its third communication to the MCA in a fortnight’s time, the CoA has remarked that “(1) the elections proposed to be held on May 2 are contrary to the directives issued by the Justice Lodha Committee in exercise of the powers conferred on it vide the Judgment; (2) the CoA and the BCCI will treat the MCA as a defaulting State Association and shall not recognise the results of such elections and treat the same as null and void; (3) any person(s) involved in the conduct of or participating in the elections shall be held responsible for having wilfully acted in violation of the judgement and consequent directions issued by the Lodha Committee and the CoA shall take such steps/ action as it considers appropriate in this regard including by bringing the same to the attention of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and (4) for the purpose of ensuring compliance by all concerned, the CoA is directing the CEO of BCCI and the secretary of the MCA to put up a copy of this communication on the websites of BCCI and MCA respectively”.
The CoA has observed that some pages are missing from the amended constitution, that it has received a mail from the former President (Abhay Apte) stating that there are certain differences between the amended constitution (as sent by the secretary of the MCA) and the one that was finally discussed and approved at the special general meeting of the MCA held on April 7, 2018 which he presided over. “This fact alone casts serious doubts as to the sanctity of the Amended Constitution,” the CoA has emphasised.
The CoA has pointed out clauses in the flawed constitution two of which are (1) composition of the Managing Committee appears to have been formulated with a view to perpetuating vested interests that have been entrenched in the MCA and (2) sidelining former international players hailing from the State.
The CoA has drawn an inference saying: “From the major deviations set out, it appears that the MCA and its officials have falsely claimed compliance with the Judgment, violated the undertaking contained in the affidavit filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court and left no stone unturned to subvert and nullify the letter and spirit of the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee.”