With an eye on the October 18 biennial elections of the Mumbai Cricket Association, senior cricket administrator Prof Ratnakar Shetty is all set to challenge in the court an amendment made to its election rules in July which debars him from contesting the elections.
The managing committee of MCA, at its meeting on July 23, amended the eligibility rule by debarring anyone who is a paid employee of its parent body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, including the NationalCricketAcademy, and coaches or employees of various IPL franchisees, from contesting the elections.
This was widely perceived to have been done to specifically to debar Shetty, who is employed with the BCCI as its general manager (game development), from contesting the polls.
"We are challenging for sure. I can't say when," said Shetty today after getting a favourable verdict from the Bombay High Court that today upheld the order to stay the five-year ban imposed on him by MCA.
MCA banned him for his allegations that some office bearers of the association could have indulged in selling tickets of a T20 Indo-Pak game held on December 28 last year in Ahmedabad in the black market.
The Bombay High Court said, on Saturday, that the MCA's action to ban Shetty was "pre-determined and drastic".
Justice Anoop Mohta also directed MCA to accept Shetty's nomination to represent the Bombay Union Sports Club which would enable him to contest the biennial elections scheduled to be held on October 18.
The court clarified that if MCA approaches the Supreme Court in appeal then Shetty's nomination would be subject to the outcome of that petition.
Dr P V Shetty, MCA's joint secretary, said that the managing committee, which met after the court verdict, did not discuss the issue of lodging an appeal.