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Contempt of Court petition against AICF, officials: Dongre

Contempt of Court petition against AICF officials Dongre
Photo Credit : IANS

Chennai: Continuing his legal fight against the All India Chess Federation (AICF) for filling its Secretary post, Ravindra Dongre will soon be filing a contempt of court petition in the Delhi High Court.

“The preparation is on,” Dongre told IANS when queried about filing of contempt case against the AICF and its officials.

The case will be against the AICF’s decision to appoint its Vice President Vipnesh Bhardwaj as the Interim Secretary on August 23.

The AICF’s General Body Meeting, on August 23, ratified President Dr Sanjay Kapoor’s decision to appoint Bhardwaj as the interim Secretary.

The chess body Secretary’s post had fallen vacant after the Supreme Court had ordered in June that Bharat Singh Chauhan can hold that post only till August 15, citing the impending Chess Olympiad to be held in India.

The Delhi High Court had, on June 2, unseated Chauhan as AICF Secretary as his election violated the National Sports Development Code.

Dongre had begun his preparations on August 16 itself by sending an email to AICF President Kapoor citing the orders of the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.

“As per the above orders and as per the National Sports Code I seek the office of Secretary of AICF from 16th August 2022. I also request you to kindly give the password of the official email of Secretary AICF and the web link of AICF. Please kindly help in smooth handing over of all the bank accounts of AICF and its related financials,” Dongre had told Kapoor in an email.

The apex court had said Chauhan’s tenure as AICF Secretary can be only till August 15 and the high court will pass a fresh order after giving opportunities to all concerned within four weeks.

On August 22, the Delhi High Court reiterated its earlier order of unseating Chauhan.

Chauhan stood for re-election and as per the National Sports Development Code, an office-bearer for a second successive tenure should secure a majority of not less than two-third of the votes polled.

In case of default, the candidate would be deemed to have lost the elections and the position would thereafter be filled by normal procedure from amongst candidates other than the office-bearer seeking re-election.

A similar situation had arisen in 1985 but for the AICF’s President post.

“In 1985 elections in the AICF, B. Varma, President contested for re-election. He was opposed by industrialist, N. Mahalingam. While Varma got more votes, he could not muster a two-third majority. Then Mahalingam, the only contestant, became the President,” International Master Atanu Lahiri had told IANS.

Lahiri said that Dongre was the only contestant for the Secretary’s post in the elections held last year.

Dongre said: “In 1985, two factions fought the elections. As Varma did not secure two-third majority, he went out. And as there was no other contestant for the President’s post other than Mahalingam, he assumed charge as the head of the AICF. Had there been more than two contestants, then there would have been a re-election.”

According to Dongre, the Ministry of Sports, which is also a respondent in the Delhi High Court case, and the nodal agency to protect the National Sports Code should stop the violation and ensure the Code is followed by the AICF in the right spirit.

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

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