India news November 22, 2013

Judge defers Rajasthan Cricket Association elections

Justice NM Kasliwal, the judge appointed by Supreme Court as principal observer for the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) elections, has deferred the poll dates decided on by the two main factions. CP Joshi, the current RCA president, had announced November 24 as the election date after his rival Sanjay Dixit, the RCA secretary who has teamed up with banned BCCI administrator Lalit Modi, notified the various district associations that the polls were being held on November 23.

Kasliwal's decision is likely to be a jolt for Joshi, who is also a federal minister in the Indian government. Joshi represents the Congress party, which is in power in Rajasthan currently. Rajasthan goes to assembly polls on December 1 and Joshi wanted the RCA polls to be organised at the earliest, in case the Congress loses control in the state.

Two days into his job, Kasliwal called a meeting on Friday in Jaipur, which was attended by Swadeep Hora (legal counsel for Modi), Dixit, KK Sharma (appointed acting secretary by Joshi) and the Rajasthan State Sports Council (an affiliated body, represented by its counsel). Also present at the meeting was Ravi Bhojak, the lawyer representing a group of four districts, lead by the Ajmer Cricket Association, which had pressed a charge of bias against the elections officer appointed by Joshi.

There are 33 voters (districts) that make up the electoral list and only an office bearer of a district association is eligible to contest the election. According to the Rajasthan Sports Act 2005 that governs the RCA, only the president, secretary and treasurer are the valid office bearers.

It is understood that the RSSC counsel told Kasliwal that its records indicated there were discrepancies in the election list of 12 district associations including Rajsamand, the district that Joshi heads.

Kasliwal, a retired Supreme Court justice, heard the objections raised by all parties before making his decision to postpone the elections. He said that the next meeting would be on November 26, when he is likely to decide on the procedure to conduct the elections along with the date.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo