By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Jan 24 (IANS) The Madras High Court on Friday reserved its judgement in the dispute between All India Chess Federation President P.R.Venketrama Raja and Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan with the respective counsels concluding their arguments, said a senior advocate and Chauhan.
“The counsels for Raja, Chauhan and also for Tamil Nadu Chess Association (TNCA) concluded their arguments and the judge has reserved his judgement,” senior advocate P.S.Raman told IANS.
Raman who appeared for Raja said the judgement may be delivered sometime next week.
The AICF has split into two factions — one led by President Raja and the other by Secretary Chauhan.
The core dispute between them is which of the AICF general body meetings and the decisions taken there are valid.
The Raja camp argues that the decision taken at the general body convened by the President in Chennai on December 14, 2019 calling elections on February 10, 2020 is valid.
On the other hand, the Chauhan camp argues that the decisions taken at the general body in Bhopal calling elections on February 9, 2020 in Ahmedabad is valid.
The Raja camp said the Bhopal meeting was mainly to discuss the issues concerning the Bengal Chess Association (BCA).
Arguing for his client Raman said the AICF President has the powers to convene the general body meeting which he had done and the meeting was held in Chennai in December 14, 2019 and called for elections on Feb 10, 2020.
He further argued that once the President had convened a general body meeting for holding elections there was no need for the Secretary to call another general body for the same purpose.
Pointing out that the AICF is registered in Tamil Nadu Raman argued that the Registrar of Societies has the power to depute an observer for the general body meeting it a need arises.
If the general body is held in any far off place how can the Registrar depute an observer, he told the court.
He said barring in two occasions, the elections for AICF office bearers were always held in Chennai.
Raman said there is nothing called neutral venue for elections and this is not a cricket match that needs preparation of the pitch and neutral venue.
He said the electoral college of AICF is not large and elections could be held for office bearers in Chennai.
Raman also told the court that his client is not averse to having two retired judges of High/Supreme court as two election observers – one from Raja side and the other from Chauhan side.
On the other hand, the Chauhan had told IANS earlier: “A total of 43 affidavits have been filed with the Madras High Court saying that the minutes of the AICF general body meeting held in Bhopal on December 28, 2019 circulated by me is valid.”
Chauhan added that the 43 affidavits were given by representatives of 19 state chess associations and six office bearers of the AICF.
He said one of the decisions taken at the Bhopal general body meeting was the calling of a special general body meeting on February 9, 2020 in Ahmedabad to elect the new office bearers.
Chauhan said 61 persons attended the Bhopal meeting and out of that 43 have filed affidavits saying the minutes circulated by him were valid.
Claiming his support base is increasing Chauhan said as of date three more state chess associations have promised him support taking the total to 22 out of 33 state associations.