Registration of `new' BCCI challenged

Special Correspondent

``Every likelihood of clandestine siphoning of money''

New registration done with mala fide motive New amendments and rules not legally enforceable

CHENNAI: A "new" Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been registered as a society here on September 25, 2006, even as the "original" Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) continues to be in "existence and functioning" since November 1940.

Questioning the registration of a new society in the same name, style and design of an existing forum, the Association of Bihar Cricket has moved the Madras High Court to restrain the new body from functioning on the basis of new memorandum, rules and regulations in any manner whatsoever.

Describing the development as illegal and void, the petitioner-association said: "There is every likelihood of clandestine siphoning of money, while millions of young cricketers and cricketing fraternity all over the country would be illegally and arbitrarily deprived of their legitimate, legal and fundamental rights and entitlements."

The matter relates to the grant of a "certificate of registration" by the Registrar of Societies (Central) here, registering the BCCI with effect from September 25, 2006 under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act 1975.

According to the petitioner, the BCCI existed since its original registration on November 28, 1940 and that it had not been either dissolved or wound up in accordance with law or its registration cancelled.

Claiming that the new registration had been done with "oblique, pre-arranged, collusive and mala fide motive," the petitioner-association said a new set of memorandum, rules and regulations incorporating unregistered amendments adopted in meetings dated September 29, 2000 and June 1, 2006 had been filed "clandestinely, with undue haste and by committing fraud on statute."

Pointing out that the amendments to the memorandum and rules and regulations of the BCCI were pending registration on September 25, 2006, when the registration application for the "new" BCCI was made, the petitioner said the BCCI circumvented the statutory and procedural impediments to ensure registration of the new memorandum and rules in collusion with the BCCI.

It said the purported amendments were not legally enforceable and effective and the entire election of office-bearers for BCCI would be illegal and void, and the decisions adopted by the BCCI and its office-bearers would be void.

If the "original" BCCI ceased to exist, the BCCI would cease to be the Full Member of the International Cricket Council, which entitled the Indian team to participate in official ICC events. Such an eventuality would bring with it serious prejudice to the entire game of cricket in the country, it said, adding that the court must call for the records and declare all acts done by the BCCI pursuant to the registration in September 2006 as illegal and void.

It also sought to prohibit the BCCI from giving effect to the new memorandum, rules and regulations.

A Division Bench comprising Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice R. Sudhakar has ordered notices to the respondents.