Delhi Chess Association representatives not qualified to vote in AICF election

Chennai, Feb 25 (IANS): Much to the surprise of many, the Delhi Chess Association (DCA) does not feature in the electoral college that would elect the new office bearers of All India Chess Federation (AICF) on March 10.

Reacting to the development Bharat Singh Chauhan, President, DCA told IANS: "We will be approaching the court on Monday. We have also written to the two Returning Officers appointed to conduct the AICF elections."

Out of the 33 state and union territory affiliates of AICF, the Federation President Sanjay Kapoor on 24.2.2024 published the electoral college omitting DCA and Madhya Pradesh. As there is only an ad-hoc body overseeing the Madhya Pradesh chess affairs, it does not have voting rights.

According to Chauhan, omission of DCA from the electoral college is deliberate and malafide. In a letter to the two poll Returning Officers Justice (Retd.) G.S Sistani, Justice ( Retd.) Rang Nath Pandey and the AICF, Chauhan said, in accordance with National Sports Development Code 2011 and in terms of the AICF Election Notification dated 11.02.2024, DCA duly submitted the names of the delegates to vote in the upcoming elections.

"There has been no suspension/termination /discontinuation of the affiliation status of DCA with AICF and yet our Association’s submissions for Form-1 have not been included,” Chauhan said in his letter and requested amendment to the electoral college.

The DCA had nominated its Vice President Ram Pratap Singh and Joint Secretary Dharmender to attend and vote at the AICF General Body meeting scheduled on March 10 in Delhi.

"DCA might have been disqualified from voting as it did not conduct elections for the past several years, which is a violation of the National Sports Development Code, 2011," an International Master (IM) told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Curiously, in September 2023, the AICF had informed the Central Government that only a few State associations follow the National Sports Development Code, 2011.

It has to be seen how the two Returning Officers satisfy themselves as to how the other state and union territory affiliates of AICF qualify under the National Sports Development Code, 2011 and the validity of their nominations to attend and vote at the March 10 in the General Body meeting.

The Delhi High Court on February 22, 2024 in the Devbhoomi Chess Association versus All India Chess Federation (AICF) said: “UOI (Union of India/Government of India) has not filed any reply/affidavit in terms of the directions contained in para-6 of the order dated 14.02.2024. Last opportunity is granted to file the same on or before 28.02.2024, failing which the concerned Joint Secretary shall remain personally present in court on the next date of hearing,” the High Court ordered.

The Court also told the Indian government that its reply/affidavit to be filed must address, in addition to other relevant aspects, the following; "(i) Whether or not the constitution of the respondent no.1 (AICF) is in compliance with the National Sports Federation of India and the judgment dated 16.08.2022 in W.P. (C)195/2010 particularly keeping in mind the prescription in the constitution of the respondent no.1 (AICF) regarding the strength of the Executive Council (EC) and the number of office bearers (Article – 7(o), 13 and 16).

"(ii) The institutional mechanism put in place in compliance of the aforesaid judgement dated 16.8,2022, to ensure that whenever elections are held for electing EC (Executive Council) of National Sports Federations, including the Respondent No. 1 (AICF), 25% representation of sports person is ensured not only in the EC but also in the general body of the federation.

"(iii) The institutional mechanism put in place in compliance with the judgment dated 10.02.2023 in W.P.(C) 8915/2019, titled as K.P. Rao vs. Union of India & Ors, to ensure that the State Associations/ District Associations are in compliance with the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, and the requirements prescribed in the aforesaid judgement dated 16.8.2022.”

The Court also ordered Devbhoomi Chess Association, the petitioner in the case to file an affidavit bringing out as to whether it is itself in compliance with the requirements of National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 and the judgment dated 16.08.2022, passed in W.P.(C) 195/2010. "Let the same be at least 2 days before the next date of hearing," the Court said.

The AICF has included the two representatives of the Devbhoomi Chess Association in its electoral college with the rider that their voting is subject to the Delhi High Court’s order. Be that as it may, the electoral college of AICF has a good number of new faces and the AICF office bearers will have to be elected from them.

Given this situation, the AICF affairs will be managed by several new faces, said the IM.



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