JKCA Ousts Farooq, Court Stays Coup

SRINAGAR: High drama was witnessed in the Jammu and Kash-mir Cricket Association (JKCA) Monday with a rebel group elect-ing state Sports Minister Imran Ansari as the body’s president in an attempt to end Farooq Abdullah’s 35-year rein but the move was stayed by a Jammu court.

Magistrate Arvinder Singh Langeh stayed the JKCA executive committee decision, axing the National Conference leader as president of the association following internal elections. 

Of the 64 club members of the JKCA, 42 voted in an election in Sri-nagar electing the sports minister as its new head.

JKCA also elected Mehboob Iqbal, retired bureaucrat, as chairman of the As-sociation and Iqbal Shah as General Secretary.

This is the first time Abdullah lost control of the JKCA after 1980 when he was first elected president.

A fuming Abdullah, 77, immediately sought judicial intervention. 

The court directed: “Any decision taken in the JKCA meeting (to-day) shall remain in abeyance till further orders.”

The court, in its order, said that there was a “prima facie case requiring indulgence of this court in so far as staying the operation of notice” for convening Monday’s meeting.

“Accordingly, operation of the notice dated July 9, 2015…is stayed till next date of hearing”. The case will now come up on July 31.

Abdullah, who was re-elected as JKCA president for a three-year term in May 2014 extending his rein which began in 1980, dubbed Ansari’s election as “illegal and unconstitutional”, saying he still had nearly two years left in his tenure.

As a result, Abdullah will continue as the JKCA president and the new team will not take over till further orders, Abhinav Sharma, the lawyer representing Abdullah’s faction said.

Abdullah accused the PDP-BJP government of dividing JKCA and people of the state.

“This meeting is illegal. I was elected and the committee was elected a year ago. We have a three-year term and this (election) is against the constitution of the JKCA so it had no standing,” Abdullah said.

“We have got a stay order against it. We are going to fight them. This is the tragedy with this government. Mufti sahib’s government wants to create problems. It has already created division between Jammu and Kashmir and is creating division in JKCA,” he said.

In his four-page order, the judge said that in terms of relevant rules, it is only the General Secretary of the association who can convene any meeting of the working committee which is required to be presided over by the President of the Association and in his absence, normally the chairman of the association.

Abdullah said there was no possibility of fresh elections. Any state association election has to be monitored by a BCCI observer, a norm which was not fol-lowed on Monday.

“It cannot be possible…there is no possibility of all these things (fresh elec-tions). What is the need for it? Farooq Abdullah wants accounts. I am telling them that we are not going to release money to you till you give us the ac-counts. After all we have to also put those accounts before the people.

“We have seen what has happened earlier when scam took place. The presi-dent did not know anything about it till it was exposed to me. That is why some of them (members) are on that side because they just want to usurp the money. That is the whole story, there is nothing else,” he said.

He said as per the rules of JKCA, elections are held in a working committee which is presided over by the President and for which notification is to be is-sued by the elected General Secretary.

“There is a very clear and explicit judgement of Hon’ble Justice B A Kirmani dated July, 2, 2007 that Working Committee meeting of JKCA are necessarily to be presided over by the president and its notification is to be issued by the General Secretary and nobody else. There is no provision in JKCA rules for premature election or any no-confidence motion,” he said.

Abdullah accused the Mufti government of supporting the rival faction but said he will not allow it to succeed.

“They think Farooq Abdullah is so easy to be dismantled. I want to tell them that Farooq Abdullah is here, alive and will fight them to the death,” he said.

Ansari defended the elections saying the majority of the working committee members are with him.

Imran: New Body Legitimate

The newly elected body of multi-crore scam hit Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association Monday evening held its first press conference at JKCA headquarters here which was addressed by its president and minister for sports, Imran Reza Ansari.

Ansari said that the newly elected body is legitimate and has started functioning from today. He was accompanied by tainted Mehboob Iqbal and other association members.

Earlier in the day, reports claimed that an excise magistrate in Jammu had stayed the forming of the new body but Ansari said “nothing has come to them in shape of any order or notice”.

“According to the rule book of JKCA Constitution, in absence of association president, Chairman/Vice Chairman can hold a meeting regarding any decision and the majority vote of the association members shall take the final decision,” Ansari said adding that the new body was elected this morning. JKCA has 64 members and 46 were present in today’s election which unanimously elected Imran Raza Ansari as the new president.

NC president and former CM Dr Farooq Abdullah headed the JKCA and was yet to complete his three year term before today’s election. He too is named in the multi-crore scam which is sub-judice yet.

Answering a question, Ansari said, “the multi-crore scam case is going on in the court.” Judiciary, he said, shall take its own course but let game not suffer.

Ansari said that the JKCA held an open election in full media glare which was attended by observers from government and the JK Bank as well. “The members were interviewed to check their authenticity.”

The new president added that the association will talk to quarters concerned to lessen the presence of Khaki in the area. “This is a no-go-area for state subjects; we shall ensure renaissance of game,” he said.

Further, he asserted that the only cricket ground in the state shall not be used for any political activity. “We will tell the authorities that the pitch is delicate so spare it for only cricket.”

“We are getting lots of grants from BCCI and state too has its budget for cricket, so our priority shall be ensuring state of art facilities for players,” he said.





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