Madras HC restrains BCCI office-bearers from functioning

MUMBAI: Talk about strange ironies. A little over a week after he was turned away, at the door as it were, from overseeing the elections to decide new office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the Madras High Court has put retired Supreme Court judge S Mohan in charge of the richest cricket board in the world.

In an interim order passed today, a division bench of the Madras High Court has restrained the newly-elected office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from functioning and appointed retired Supreme Court justice S Mohan as interim administrator. Subject to him agreeing to the appointment of course.

It needs recalling that a single judge bench of the Madras High Court had on 28 September appointed justice Mohan to conduct the elections in accordance with BCCI rules. This appointment was stayed by a division bench of the Madras HC the next day (the same day the BCCI elections were held).

The division bench issued its order today on a review petition filed by Chennai-based Netaji Cricket Club (NCC) that had sought to set aside the election of BCCI office bearers.

The club also wanted the newly elected members to be restrained from functioning and an interim administrator appointed to run the Board's affairs.

The club contended it was aggrieved by a division bench order of 29 September, setting aside the single judge's order a day earlier appointing justice Mohan as commissioner to conduct the BCCI election.

The bench questioned the manner in which BCCI elections were held last week at Kolkata, reports the Press trust of India.

"Prima Facie, we feel that an undertaking given before the court, pertaining to the conduct of the election, has been violated. We are satisfied there is a prima facie case for granting interim orders," the Bench has been quoted by PTI as saying.

The judges also granted leave to chairman of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Dyaneshwar Agashe to file a review application.

On Thursday, Agashe had sought leave of the court to file a review application, similar to that filed by the Club.

It was after justice Mohan was prevented from conducting the BCCI election that board supremo took charge of the poll process.

In the end it came right down to the wire with Maharashtra's political heavyweight and Unionh agriculture minister Sharad Pawar tied at 15 votes with Dalmiya's nominee Ranbir Singh Mahendra. It was Dalmiya's casting vote that swung the poll in Mahendra's favour.

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