05 November 2018 last updated at 12:35 GMT
 
BCCI legal cell had cleared Azhar
Tuesday 22 August 2017

BCCI legal cell had cleared Azhar 
The BCCI's response apparently got lost somewhere in transit and Azhar could not got ahead with the HCA elections
 Despite being cleared by the BCCI's legal cell, was former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin 'cheated' of the opportunity to contest in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) elections in January this year? Has the BCCI's ambivalence cost the Hyderabad player dearly? Did the BCCI write to the HCA that there was no ground to prevent Azharuddin from contesting the elections?
If so, why was the correspondence not made public? Who is speaking the truth - the BCCI or the HCA?
Several questions have surfaced since it is learnt that the BCCI had sent a mail to the HCA stating that there was no bar on Azharuddin contesting the elections. Top BCCI sources told TOI that HCA's ad-hoc committee chairman Prakash Chand Jain had sent out four emails enquiring whether Azhar could take part in the state cricket body elections. Sources also said that Jain's last email to the BCCI was on January 10, 2017.
It is learnt that the BCCI had sent a reply on January 12 which said that its legal department had cleared the former Indian captain and hence there was no case pending against him. Azhar was also given the green signal from the BCCI to contest the elections which were to be held on January 17. But Azhar's nomination was rejected by the Returning Officer Rajeev Reddy on the ground that there was no reply from the BCCI on the ban issue.
Jain, however, denied receiving any mail from the BCCI. "I had written three mails to the BCCI on the issue. But unfortunately the BCCI officials didn't bother to reply. Even the RO had written to the BCCI. I am not sure if he got any reply. If he had gotten a reply, it would have been brought to our notice," Jain told TOI on Tuesday. It is also a mystery that the BCCI officials didn't choose to go public on the issue when Azhar's nomination was rejected.
When asked to confirm whether Azhar was cleared by BCCI's legal cell or not, acting president CK Khanna said: "This issue was discussed with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and office-bearers where it was informed that BCCI's legal team had cleared Azhar's name. This matter has been recommended to the general body."
Earlier this month, the matter was discussed by the BCCI officials and the CoA. Azhar too had written to the BCCI mandarins asking them to clear his dues. It is learnt that the CoA didn't oppose the resolution which was mooted by a few board officials who wanted the ban to be lifted. Instead the CoA said that since the board officials were the ones who were handling the issue, they should be given a chance to decide on it after consulting the General Body.
"It's not a question of favouring him or not favouring him. There is no evidence against him and therefore legally you can't stop him from getting his dues when the legal department of the board has cleared him," a top board functionary said while adding that if the BCCI had issues with Azhar he wouldn't have been invited last year to Kanpur where India played their 500th Test match against New Zealand and his payment issue won't have appeared in the BCCI agenda.
The 54-year-old Azhar, a former Member of Parliament from Moradabad, was banned for life by the BCCI on December 5, 2000 in the wake of the match-fixing saga. But in 2012 the ban was termed 'illegal' and 'unsustainable' by the AP High Court. Sources said that the board wasn't in favour of lifting the ban despite the High Court decision. The BCCI's disciplinary committee, under then president N Srinivasan, wanted to challenge the order in the higher court, but a series of controversies that plagued the Srinivasan era took their focus off the case.

 Despite being cleared by the BCCI's legal cell, was former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin 'cheated' of the opportunity to contest in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) elections in January this year? Has the BCCI's ambivalence cost the Hyderabad player dearly? Did the BCCI write to the HCA that there was no ground to prevent Azharuddin from contesting the elections?

If so, why was the correspondence not made public? Who is speaking the truth - the BCCI or the HCA?Several questions have surfaced since it is learnt that the BCCI had sent a mail to the HCA stating that there was no bar on Azharuddin contesting the elections. Top BCCI sources told TOI that HCA's ad-hoc committee chairman Prakash Chand Jain had sent out four emails enquiring whether Azhar could take part in the state cricket body elections. Sources also said that Jain's last email to the BCCI was on January 10, 2017.

It is learnt that the BCCI had sent a reply on January 12 which said that its legal department had cleared the former Indian captain and hence there was no case pending against him. Azhar was also given the green signal from the BCCI to contest the elections which were to be held on January 17. But Azhar's nomination was rejected by the Returning Officer Rajeev Reddy on the ground that there was no reply from the BCCI on the ban issue.

Jain, however, denied receiving any mail from the BCCI. "I had written three mails to the BCCI on the issue. But unfortunately the BCCI officials didn't bother to reply. Even the RO had written to the BCCI. I am not sure if he got any reply. If he had gotten a reply, it would have been brought to our notice," Jain told TOI on Tuesday. It is also a mystery that the BCCI officials didn't choose to go public on the issue when Azhar's nomination was rejected.

When asked to confirm whether Azhar was cleared by BCCI's legal cell or not, acting president CK Khanna said: "This issue was discussed with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and office-bearers where it was informed that BCCI's legal team had cleared Azhar's name. This matter has been recommended to the general body."

Earlier this month, the matter was discussed by the BCCI officials and the CoA. Azhar too had written to the BCCI mandarins asking them to clear his dues. It is learnt that the CoA didn't oppose the resolution which was mooted by a few board officials who wanted the ban to be lifted. Instead the CoA said that since the board officials were the ones who were handling the issue, they should be given a chance to decide on it after consulting the General Body.

"It's not a question of favouring him or not favouring him. There is no evidence against him and therefore legally you can't stop him from getting his dues when the legal department of the board has cleared him," a top board functionary said while adding that if the BCCI had issues with Azhar he wouldn't have been invited last year to Kanpur where India played their 500th Test match against New Zealand and his payment issue won't have appeared in the BCCI agenda.

The 54-year-old Azhar, a former Member of Parliament from Moradabad, was banned for life by the BCCI on December 5, 2000 in the wake of the match-fixing saga. But in 2012 the ban was termed 'illegal' and 'unsustainable' by the AP High Court. Sources said that the board wasn't in favour of lifting the ban despite the High Court decision. The BCCI's disciplinary committee, under then president N Srinivasan, wanted to challenge the order in the higher court, but a series of controversies that plagued the Srinivasan era took their focus off the case.

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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