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Plea in SC seeks stay on elections of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association

Plea in SC seeks stay on elections of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association

New Delhi, Sep 23 (PTI) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking stay on the upcoming election of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) office bearers for allegedly not being in compliance of the recommendation of Justice R M Lodha Committee and BCCI by-laws.The plea filed by cricketer and former secretary of HPCA Gautam Thakur also sought direction for management of cricketing affairs in Himachal Pradesh by Committee of Administrators till the disposal of the petition.Thakur alleged that his fundamental rights are being infringed upon by the HPCA by their "illegal, arbitrary and monopolistic actions" in administration of cricket affairs in Himachal Pradesh by not following the recommendations of justice Lodha Committee as approved by this court."It is therefore respectfully prayed that this court may please to issue appropriate direction to stay the HPCA election and direct for management of cricketing affairs in HP by COA during the pendency of present writ petition any other order or direction which this court may deem for and proper in view of facts and circumstances of the case may also be passed in favour of applicant in interest of justice," said the plea, filed through advocate D K Thakur.As per the HPCA website, the elections will be held on September 27 for the post of President, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer. It said that as per the by-laws and Memorandum of Association of HPCA there was a provision for life members on payment of onetime fee. "Under the guise of this power many politician, businessmen, relatives, kith and kin and non-residents of HP are inducted as life members in HPCA by giving them right to vote and contest elections," it said.The petition said that these class of persons do not have even a distant connection with game of cricket and they have been made part of HPCA, "just to fulfil the objectives of erstwhile president and to help him indirectly controlling the affairs of cricket in Himachal Pradesh"."This class of persons have a majority in HPCA Electoral College. The composition of HPCA is Life members22 (out of which 17 are nonresidents of HP), 6 directors (2005-2019), Former/current government Officials-5, 3-4 first class players who have played one Ranji Trophy match each besides 24 votes of district cricket association, executive members of HPCA, kith and kin of former office bearer," it said.The petition, further alleged that the HPCA was not allowing the duly elected representatives of two districts cricket associations (DCA)--Chamba and Lahul Spiti--to cast their vote in the present elections.It said that "in their place office bearer of interim committee, who are handpicks of office bearer of dissolved HPCA, which is totally unfair and arbitrary and amounts to cast a proxy vote, which is strictly prohibited under 2019 by-laws of HPCA".The plea, said all the duly elected representatives of district cricket associations are entitled to cast their votes in the election."It is submitted that by-law of HPCA/BCCI be made applicable to DCA and those members/ office bearer, who are not qualified as per new bylaw of HPCA/BCCI should not be included in electoral college of HPCA", it said.The plea said the apex court-appointed Justice R M Lodha Committee has made various suggestions for improvements in the game of cricket, which has been accepted by this court with certain modifications and one of such recommendation was that former players will have due representations in cricket associations."Therefore to include only former international players as members of state associations under by-law...would defeat basic purpose of entire exercise in the small state like HP, where international are not available," it said and added under these clauses of "former first class players" may be directed to be inserted to achieve desired results.The plea sought direction to HPCA to make provisions in its 2019 by-laws for appointment of cricketing committees comprising of only former players as per BCCI norms.It also sought direction to HPCA to disqualify non- residents of state of Himachal Pradesh from being its directors/life/donor/ordinary members.The plea said that direction should be issued to HPCA to disqualify all its existing members, who have completed 20 years as a members/directors in cricket association or completed 70 years of age or minister, etc to be its members or alternatively disqualify them from right to vote. PTI MNL SA