Question mark hangs over Indian chess body elections

February 16, 2024
Question mark hangs over the holding of the office-bearers' elections in the All India Chess Federation

Chennai, Feb 16 (IANS) Question mark hangs over the holding of the office-bearers’ elections in the All India Chess Federation (AICF) as it is not compliant with the National Sports Development Code, officials alleged.

Further, on February 14, the Delhi High Court had directed the Government of India to state in its reply/affidavit whether the AICF is in compliance with the directions contained in the judgment dated 16.08.2022 passed in W.P. (C)195/2010 read with the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.

Curiously, if a case filed by the Chhattisgarh Pradesh Satranj Sangh (Chhattisgarh State Chess Association) in the Delhi High Court propelled the chess body into an election mode, a case filed by the Devbhoomi Chess Association (formerly Uttaranchal Chess Association) against the AICF has now put a question mark on the polls.

Queried about the reasons for filing the case, Sanjay K Chadha, President, Devbhoomi Chess Association, told IANS: “We did not receive the election schedule sent by AICF President Sanjay Kapoor on February 11. Further, the AICF had illegally removed my name as well as that of the state association’s Secretary Sanjeev Chaudhary from its website while retaining the state body’s name.

“I had written an email to the President, Interim Secretary and the Treasurer on the matter, but none of them has replied. The case was filed as I had the apprehension that we will be illegally removed from the voter list. We also wanted the AICF to comply with the Delhi High Court order dated 16.08.2022.”

As to the basis of his apprehension, Chadha said he had got the earlier election notice sent on 31.11.2023 and had also attended all the General Body meetings held thereafter. On 14.1.2024, he had attended the meeting called by the returning officers. But he didn’t get the election schedule sent on February 11, besides noticing the removal of the names.

However, the AICF had said in the court that it had not barred Chadha and Chaudhary, and they continue to be members.

Chadha said the Delhi High Court’s order dated August 16, 2022 has laid down norms like 25 per cent of the office-bearers should be national players; the maximum age for an official will be 70 years; nobody can have more than two consecutive terms etc.

The Delhi High Court had also said that the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, is applicable even to the state and district bodies.

Chadha said the AICF and majority of its state affiliates are not compliant with the National Sports Development Code.

Interestingly, the Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the elections for the Volleyball Federation of India scheduled for Saturday on the ground that it is not in compliance with its 16.8.2022 order, Chadha said.

“I had emailed the two returning officers seeking clarification on the Delhi High Court’s order on 16.8.2022 but there was no reply. Later, several state associations had sent mails which were also not replied to,” Naresh Sharma, Treasurer, AICF, told IANS.

Sharma said at the General Body meeting held in Guwahati, it was decided to form a committee to discuss with the returning officers. But the committee was not formed.

As per the communication sent to the various affiliated units, the AICF said the agenda for the general body meeting to be held on March 10 will be: Ratification of the minutes from the urgent general body meeting conducted on December 28, 2023 in Delhi; deliberation on issues arising from the aforementioned minutes; election of office-bearers for the tenure 2024-2027; encompassing the positions of one President, six Vice Presidents, one Honorary Secretary, six Joint Secretaries and one Treasurer; adoption of suitable resolutions following the election of the new office-bearers; consideration of any additional matters, subject to the approval of the Chair.

The elected office-bearers will hold office for three years (2024-2027) and the poll will be in accordance with the AICF Constitution and the National Sports Development Code 2011.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at [email protected])

–IANS

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