The Delhi and District Cricket Association will have to conduct elections for the offices of the president, treasurer and four directors by the first week of August.
The Delhi High Court has set the ball rolling by appointing the returning officer and asked the cricket governing body in the national Capital to conduct the elections to fill the vacant positions within six weeks.
Former Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, who has been named the returning officer, will have a tough task in hand to ensure the electoral process involving 4,500 DDCA members at a time with the COVID-19 pandemic spread is going out of hands with a threatening rise in the cases on a daily basis.
The Delhi Government has said that the cases would be at peak by the July-end. That is also going to be the likely timing for the election as per the High Court orders.
The urgency for the elections can also become questionable under such circumstance when there is no cricketing activity happening in the Capital.
The intense DDCA elections will also see aggressive campaigns, which may further expose the candidates and members to the novel coronavirus threat.
SportzFront is in possession of a copy of the order which states: “At this stage, the parties have agreed that for the moment, the amicable way forward would be that the order of the learned Ombudsman directing holding of an election for the post of president, treasurer and four directors of DDCA be implemented in the right earnest. A returning officer has been appointed. Let the elections be held within six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.”
Till the time a new treasurer is appointed DDCA secretary Vinod Tihara or SN Sharma will continue to sign the cheques for the association along with a court-appointed nominee senior advocate Rajiv Bansal for honouring payments.
“It is agreed between the parties that till the next date of hearing, DDCA be permitted to make payments apropos statutory liabilities, salaries of its employees, expenses for urgent needs such as travel and hotel expenses of the DDCA cricket team, selectors, coaches and support staff. It is so ordered,” stated the court.
The President’s office has been vacant ever since senior journalist Rajat Sharma was forced to quit in a tug of war with the DDCA secretary Tihara, whom Sharma unsuccessfully tried to eliminate from the association. Om Prakash Sharma was disqualified as the treasurer by ombudsman Justice (Retd) Deepak Verma as he is also an MLA in Delhi. The rules do not permit a person to hold a post in the DDCA while also holding a public office.