India news January 6, 2014

Supreme Court defers RCA election results

Kalra: Lalit Modi, the BCCI's perennial problem

The Supreme Court has deferred to January 17 announcing the results of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) elections, which had been held on December 19 and contested by Lalit Modi, among others. The court is hearing a special leave petition (SLP) filed by former RCA president Kishore Rungta regarding the association's election procedure and the RCA election status quo will continue until the next hearing.

In what could be a setback for Modi, the court also ruled that it would entertain a BCCI petition challenging his candidature if he won the election. Modi had contested for the president's post in the election, which was held under the supervision of Justice NM Kasliwal, the principal observer appointed by the Supreme Court.

The results were supposed to be declared by Kasliwal under the directions of the Supreme Court, which it was due to pass today. Modi's candidature, however, was challenged by the BCCI and Rampal Sharma, the Bhilwara District Cricket Association representative and a member of the ruling CP Joshi group. In separate petitions, their counsels argued that if the results were declared then the application they had filed would be infructuous.

Modi's counsel argued that since the elections had been approved by the Supreme Court, which had appointed an observer to oversee the nominations, it was only appropriate that it gave the direction to declare results immediately.

"This decision by the court has huge implications for Modi. It is a given that he has won the elections by a majority," an RCA official said. "But now the court has put a stumbling block by assaying if he wins, the BCCI can challenge that."

It is understood that during the election four district associations - Dungapur, Pali, Hanumangarh and Ajmer - were represented by more than one faction, a fallout of internal disputes over who was eligible to vote. Kasliwal had asked all factions from those four districts to vote on the condition that their ballots would be put in a sealed envelope and opened only if the election was decided by four votes or fewer.

The BCCI had been waiting for Supreme Court clarification regarding its resolution to ban the former IPL chairman for life. While expelling Modi on multiple charges of misconduct, the BCCI had said, "he shall not in future be entitled to hold any position or office, or be admitted in any committee or any member or associate member of the board". Modi, however, got his candidature for the RCA presidency approved by the Supreme Court by exploiting a technicality that the RCA was governed by the Rajasthan Sports Act.

In the lead-up to the RCA election on December 19, the BCCI had also warned its affiliate of severe consequences if they allowed Modi to return as an administrator.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo