New Delhi:The fate of the upcoming elections in the faction-ridden Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) hangs in balance as the Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear on Friday the matters relating to its poll which is scheduled for February 23.
RCA President Lalit Modi against whom criminal cases have been lodged for abusing his official position by the rival faction allegedly led by Kishore Rungta has questioned the decision of Association's Secretary Subhash Joshi for announcing the date of elections without holding the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Modi, joined by two district associations (Kota and Sriganganagar), mentioned their applications before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and sought an order for maintaining status quo relating to the elections.
However, the Bench, which earlier on an application by Modi had decided to hear the matters relating to RCA elections on February 23 advanced it to February 20.
Senior advocate Ashok Desai appearing for Modi said that the rivals have changed the constitution of the Association on January 31 without calling the AGM and suddenly a new notice of holding the elections on February 23 was sent to the members.
He said issues relating to RCA was pending for four years and elections of the associations executive body was held as per the February 11, 2005 order of the apex court, the term of which was to end on February 21, 2009.
Modi also expressed apprehension that the state government may take coercive action.
Rajasthan Government, which opposed the applications of Modi, said that the ball has been set rolling for holding the elections on February 23 and Justice (retd) N M Kasliwal has been appointed observer.
Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for the State government, said the Registrar of Co-operative society has issued the order appointing Justice Kasliwal as observer during the RCA election.
After brief hearing, the Bench, also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal said "all matters relating to the RCA will be taken up on Friday".
Earlier on January 30, Modi through senior advocate Abhishekh Manu Singhvi and Ankur Chawla, had moved an application stating that there was a need for appropriate directions from the apex court for holding the election as a petition relating to the RCA was pending before it.
Singhvi had said RCA was under an obligation to hold election within four years but a status quo order passed by the Rajasthan High Court on December 20, 2006 with regard to structure and set up of the Association was coming in its way.
The order was delivered on a petition filed by Modi's rival Kishore Rungta.
Further, the application said that some of the members of the RCA, have sent legal notices maintaining that election could not be held in view of the status quo order of the High Court.
Modi, in his application, said it was resolved by the executive body of the Association on January 28 to approach the apex court for appropriate directions for holding the election.
Modi referred to the petition filed by Rungta in the apex court challenging the Rajasthan Sports (Registration, Recognition and Regulation) of Association, Act 2005 and another plea filed by his colleague B K Jhunjhunwala in the High Court and said though the Rajasthan Government was seeking time in both the courts there was apprehension that it may take "coercive" action against RCA.
Rungta had filed an appeal in 2004 against the verdict of the High Court upholding the validity of the sports Act.
During the pendency of appeal, the election for the RCA executive body was held as per the order of the apex court on February 11, 2005.
After the election, several petitions were filed in different courts which are pending.