The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case involving former BCCI treasurer Kishore Rungta on January 6, during the course of which the results of the Rajasthan Cricket Association elections, which were held on December 19, may be announced. The matter assumes significance because the BCCI has impleaded itself in the Rungta case, since it has challenged Lalit Modi standing for the RCA elections.
Why are the RCA elections important?
The matter assumes importance because Lalit Modi, the former IPL chairman, who was expelled by the BCCI in September, is a strong favourite to win the RCA president's post. If elected, Modi would likely be the first person to openly oppose the ruling group in the BCCI, a body for which everyone else has been toeing the line. Modi earlier served as RCA president from 2005 to 2009. It is understood that only three district associations voted against Modi during the elections.
How did Modi sidestep the BCCI ban to fight the RCA polls?
Modi entered the RCA polls through the door made open to him by the Rajasthan Sports Act, which governs the RCA's constitution.
What is the Rungta case about?
In 2005, Modi defeated then RCA president Kishore Rungta by a margin of just one vote. Rungta accused Modi of wrongdoing by bringing in a new law in the RCA constitution, which abolished the voting rights of the individual members and allowed only the district associations to vote. Since then Rungta has been challenging the law. Rungta approached the Rajasthan High Court in 2005 but his application was rejected. He then went to the Supreme Court in 2007 with a special leave petition (SLP).
Why is the Supreme Court playing the adjudicator in the election?
Two observers were appointed since Rungta had made an application that the elections be held under the supervision of the Supreme Court. Retired Supreme Court judge NM Kasliwal, who has served as an observer in the past three elections, was once again appointed in the same capacity this time, too, to ensure fair elections. Kasliwal's main job was to validate all nominations, including Modi's.
The court also made it clear the votes would be secured in a sealed envelope and possibly opened on January 6. Earlier it was expected that the court would deliver its verdict on January 6, but now with the BCCI's petition in the Supreme Court, the decision may be deferred.
What is the BCCI's position on Modi's candidature?
Even though the RCA is governed by the state sports act, it is also a BCCI affiliate and enjoys all the benefits, including financial aid. This resulted in a tangle. After threatening to ban RCA from all of BCCI-organised tournaments, including the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI deliberated the matter in a working committee meeting in late December. Even though it decided to protect interest of all the cricketers in the state, the BCCI has moved the Supreme Court against Modi's candidature and possible election.
What happens if court rules in favour of Rungta?
The RCA elections become null and void and a new election would need to take place. Modi has the choice to contest the elections once again, unless the court rules in favour of the BCCI interlocutory application.
What happens if court rules in favour of Modi?
Modi, provided he wins the post of RCA president as is expected, would be eligible to represent the RCA in important BCCI meetings, including the AGM and SGMs. That is not likely to happen soon, though, since Modi has been residing in London for almost four years now and the RCA is not a BCCI working committee member at the moment. However, Modi lobby's presence may give a fillip to whispers of dissent against BCCI president N Srinivasan, who is Modi's bitter enemy.
What else can happen?
If the Supreme Court rules in favour of the BCCI interlocutory application then Modi cannot be elected as RCA administrator. Another situation could be, if Modi - who is expected to come out trumps in the election - is found ineligible to hold a RCA post by the court, the court could possibly appoint an ad hoc committee to run the RCA till the it delivers a judgement in the Rungta SLP.