Holding the appointment of the ombudsman and the ethics officer of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) valid, the Rajasthan High Court has directed that they shall complete their full tenure of three years.
A single judge bench of Justice J K Ranka stayed the operation of letters of Joint Secretary Mahendra Nahar that required Ombudsman Gyan Sudha Mishra, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, and Ethics Officer Pana Chand Jain, a retired judge of of the high court, to put down their papers and leave their respective assignments by handing over the files to C P Joshi, the newly-elected RCA chief.
Friday's order came on an application moved by Pinkesh Jain, treasurer of RCA, through advocate Sudhir Gupta, who alleged that the joint secretary has been illegal designated by the RCA president as officiating secretary and he is misusing his position.
Counsel for RCA Abhinav Sharma said that the joint secretary has no authority to designate himself as officiating secretary once the RCA had on February 12, adopted the recommendations of the Lodha Committee and appointed the ombudsman as well as ethics officers.
"The joint secretary has illegally written letters to the duo without any approval from the general body meeting or the governing body and no resolution was taken to sack their services," it was contended on behalf of RCA counsel.
It was also argued that the vesting of powers to adjudicated disputes by the RCA president himself through a sole arbitrator would tantamount to overriding the guidelines of Lodha Committee and the orders passed by the Supreme Court.
"The act of joint secretary in writing the impugned letters cannot be appreciated as it is contemptuous and we set the applicant at liberty to move a proper application to this effect on next date which is July 21," observed the bench.
"This high court has already recognised the appointments of ombudsman and the ethics officers as valid. We hold that the letters issued by the joint secretary are illegal and the same are not sustained," it said.
The court further directed that the ombudsman and the ethics officer shall continue to work for their full tenure of three years and the disputes would be decided by them according to the constitution of the RCA.
Image: C P Joshi