Post-High Court order, Punjab Cricket Association postpones polls – The Indian Express

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The PCA elections were scheduled for September 8. (Photo: Express Archives)

Two days after Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president Rajinder Gupta submitted his resignation after he was denied to call a meeting with a group of more than 100 former players, the association postponed its elections, which were scheduled for September 8. The decision from the association came a day after the Punjab and Haryana High Court summoned the PCA secretary to court with the records pertaining to its upcoming election and revised constitution.

In an order passed by Justice Jitendra Chauhan on Monday, PCA secretary RP Singla was directed to remain present in the court and “make available the complete record, including the record of the proceedings that took place on August 18, 2019, agenda/minutes and the quorum of the meeting during which the constitution of the association was allegedly revised, the rules governing the procedure of election in question and the order of appointment of the Electoral Officer”.

The case will be taken up for hearing on September 5. The order was passed on two fresh applications, filed in a case pending since last year, seeking implementation of the reforms based on report submitted by Justice RM Lodha Commission. In one of the applications filed by Rakesh Saini through advocate Arshdeep Singh Cheema, the court was told that PCA, while claiming to have revised its constitution in accordance with the commission recommendations – which were later accepted and ordered as guidelines by the Supreme Court, is proceedings to go ahead with the elections for the officer bearers on September 8.

“The election process has been drawn in blatant violation of the guidelines passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” the application said, adding that the general body of the PCA has “not approved” the revised constitution, as is being projected. The application added that a person from Haryana has been appointed as the electoral officer, instead of Punjab. without the approval from the governing body. The application also raised the question that a separate cricket association has been constituted for Chandigarh, but the members who have migrated to it from the PCA are yet to identified and the revision of electorate has not taken place.

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The incumbent president of the PCA, Rajinder Gupta on Monday also told the court that neither the electoral officer has been appointed with his consent and knowledge nor the same was part of the agenda discussed during the general house body meeting on August 18. The matter of appointment was never put up before him, the court was told.

“The postponement of election process has been taken, as we did not have the necessary documents and the BCCI also told us to postpone the elections. Rajinder Gupta’s resignation has not been accepted by the PCA and he is still the president of the association,” said Singla.

On Sunday, Gupta had submitted his resignation after his meeting with former players, including Rakesh Handa and Bhupinder Singh, was not held and the players were denied entry into the stadium, citing moral code of conduct for the PCA elections. The players who are a part of the Pun Cricket Players Association had alleged irregularities in the purchase of the land for new Mullanpur stadium by the PCA officials, last week.

Later, Gupta met the players outside the stadium and also said that he was not told about the appointment of electoral officer and other agendas on the meeting of the executive council of the PCA held on August 18.

Last week, the players who are a part of the Pun Cricket Players Association had alleged irregularities in the purchase of the land for new Mullanpur stadium by the PCA officials.

According to sources, Gupta, since his election as the PCA president in September 2017, had attended seven out of eight meetings of the executive council of the PCA and the only time he missed or was not informed about the meeting was last month. As on August 18, the PCA had appointed Rajiv Sharma, former Haryana election officer as the electoral officer for the elections.

“I do not know about the postponement of the PCA elections yet. I don’t know anybody in the PCA and they had approached me two months ago for sending my name to the committee of administrators, BCCI. After they approved my name, I was given an appointment letter on August 17,” said Sharma.

Last month, the committee of administrators (COA) BCCI had extended the deadline for the state bodies election to September 14, ahead of BCCI’s election on October 22. According to latest reports, the September 14 deadline is set to be extended.

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