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After 'agreed draw' among AICF warring factions, Delhi HC to hear crucial case


Chennai, Feb 29
With the warring parties in the All India Chess Federation (AICF) reaching an 'agreed draw' on Tuesday, the scene shifts to the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

The case filed by Devbhoomi Chess Association against AICF is coming up for hearing on Thursday in the Delhi High Court.

"The Indian government has not filed its reply/affidavit," Sanjay Chadha, President, Devbhoomi Chess Association told IANS.

Meanwhile, Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra who had appeared for Devbhoomi Chess Association said, "I am told that my briefing lawyers have filed an application with the court withdrawing their Vakalatnama"

When asked about the development Chadha avoided commenting. Whether Chadha withdraws his case against AICF will be known in the court.

The Delhi High Court had earlier ordered the Indian government to file its affidavit on or before 28.2.2024 addressing, 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 had said.

On Tuesday, the warring parties in the AICF reached an 'agreed draw' and divided the top 15 posts in the chess body amicably amongst themselves thereby avoiding an electoral contest.

The term "agreed draw" in chess, means both the contestants mutually agree to split the point.

The two Returning Officers appointed for the March 10, 2024 election - Justice G.S. Sistani (retd), and Justice Rang Nath Pandey (retd) – on Tuesday evening announced that there were only 15 nominations filed for 15 posts in the AICF.

"Members are informed that today, i.e. February 27, 2024 till 3 p.m., was the last day of receiving the nomination. Only 15 nominations were received for 15 posts," the two Returning Officers in a signed notice said.

A source close to the development told IANS: "Nitin Narang from The Haryana Chess Association has filed nomination for the President's post, Dev A. Patel from Gujarat State Chess Association for the post of Secretary and Dharmendra Kumar, from All Bihar Chess Association, for the Treasurer's post."

Nominations for the posts of six Vice Presidents and six Joint Secretaries have also been filed. It is said the officials must have agreed on a consensus as the Delhi High Court will not brook any violation of the National Sports Development Code, 2011 and its judgement dated August 16, 2022.