By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) A disgusted Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) Ombudsman, Retired Justice Deepak Verma, on Saturday said no elections can take place in the polluted politics of the parent cricket body of the national capital, and on his advice the electoral officer was “countermanding” this month’s polls.
Navin B. Chawla, Electoral Officer for the DDCA elections and a former Chief Election Commissioner of India, said in a short message that he was countermanding the elections, scheduled for October 17-20, “in view of the wholly irresponsible and illegal actions of the secretary of the DDCA”. Vinod Tihara is the DDCA secretary.
While reacting to the cancellation of the elections, Ombudsman Verma, a retired Supreme Court judge, seemed completely disgusted with the DDCA politics and declined to discuss in detail the raging issues.
“Arre sahib, internal politics mein itna pollution ho gaya hai ki election kaise hoga (how can elections take place when there is so much polluted politics)?” Justice Verma told IANS.
“Main aapko DDCA ke elections ke bare mein kuch nahi bol sakta hun (I cannot say anything about DDCA elections) because I am not the person who is holding that domain. It is Mr Navin Chawla, because that jurisdiction falls within his domain. He sought my advice and I gave it,” he said.
Chawla, too, excused himself saying that he was unwell.
“Sorry, I have severe laryngitis, and cannot talk. Please speak to Sanjay Bhardwaj [Director — cricket] of DDCA or Justice Verma,” Chawla told IANS via an SMS, after declining to take a call.
Chawla has, however, been interacting with the DDCA over the last few days. This was informed by Sunil Kumar Goel, who had initially filed his nomination papers for the president’s post, against Rohan Jaitley, son of late Arun Jaitley, a union minister and DDCA president for 14 years, before withdrawing.
Goel said he himself had interacted with Chawla and written letters to him regarding the technical hitches in holding elections.
Saturday was the deadline for withdrawal of nominations, and the list of contesting candidates was to be published in the evening. But at 2.15 p.m., the assistant election officer put up a notice, informing DDCA members that the elections had been countermanded.
“As per the direction of the electoral officer, the election process started in pursuance of notice of 30-9-2020, has been countermanded today (10-10-2020) at 2.15 p.m.,” read the notice signed by assistant electoral office SK Mendiratta.
Elections were to be held for six posts – president, treasurer, and four directors.
There are cases related to DDCA being heard in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court.