Monday, September 26, 2022

Delhi High Court rejects plea seeking appointment of retired judge as DDCA AGM observer

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The Delhi High Court on Monday disposed of a petition filed by a life-time member of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA), seeking to appoint a retired Judge as an observer for the AGM of DDCA to be held on September 15, along with videography of the entire event.

Furthermore, the plea sought, the observer appointed, should prepare a Voters list for the ensuing election on October 25, 2021, by eliminating the dead persons and bogus names from the list and police presence to maintain law and order.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli directed the DDCA to submit the copy of the video to the Ombudsman and to ensure the names of persons, who are no longer members, be excluded from the voter list.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, submitted that an observer be appointed to record the video of entire proceeding of the AGM to be held on September 15.

Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing on behalf of DDCA, informed the court that an observer has already been appointed and the entire event will be recorded.

The petition averred that the primary reason for the petition is utter chaos, mayhem, disturbance created by elements within DDCA in the AGM held on December 29, 2019, as a large number of were opposed to several amendments to the Articles of Association (AOA) proposed to be passed in the AGM, as they clashed with the personal interest of some elements who wanted that these amendments are carried without any opposition.

According to the petition, some of these contentious amendments to the Articles of Association related to the following:

  1. Increase in the number of elected directors from 10 to 12.
  2. Increase the term of every director to three years and do away with the yearly retirement by rotation.
  3. Change the norm of disqualification of an office bearer from the existing position of disqualification on being charge sheeted by a criminal court to disqualification upon conviction by a criminal court.
  4. Change the norm of disqualification of an office bearer from the existing position of disqualification on being charge sheeted by a criminal court to disqualification upon conviction by a criminal court.

The petition alleges that, in the din & commotion, the amendments were declared as passed by the Secretary, Vinod Tihara without affording any opportunity of discussion, voting etc, resulting in the suspension of the Joint Secretary Rajan Manchanda by the Ombudsman by his order dated May 14, 2020 and DDCA was directed by the Ombudsman to put up his suspension in the AGM for approval/ disapproval by members, in terms of the provisions of the Companies Act & the AOA.

The petition further avers, the issue of suspension of Joint Secretary, Rajan Manchanda was not included in the next AGM, a member  Vishal Singh filed a complaint with the Ombudsman and by order dated 08.09.2021, the Ombudsman had directed DDCA to include the matter of suspension of Rajan Manchanda in the ensuing AGM on 15.09.2021 for approval/disapproval by the General body.

The petition further claims that, Vinod Tihara was similarly held guilty of misconduct by Ld. Ombudsman by order dated December 5, 2018 and was suspended from Secretaryship/membership and DDCA was requested by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court by order dated July 2, in 2019, to place his matter of suspension before the General body in the AGM. However, his matter was not placed by DDCA before the general body in the subsequent two AGMs.

According to the petition, Vinod Tihara has twice deliberately avoided to include his own issue in the agenda of the AGM so that he may somehow continue as Secretary and member and there is a strong possibility of his adopting some strong-arm tactics, similar to those in AGM held on December 29, 2019 wherein Tihara declared the agenda items as passed despite being witness to the commotion and disturbance.

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