The AICF chief fires the secretary, but Chauhan says he is still in office.

CHENNAI: The dispute between the Indian Chess Federation ( AICF ) President PR Venketrama Raja and secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan he continued with the former removing the latter from office and appointing Vijay Desphpande of the All Marathi Chess Association in his place.

In a letter dated March 30, Raja listed out various omissions and commissions of Chauhan and said that under the powers vested with the AICF president under Article 15 (a) of the federation's constitution, the latter is removed from the post of secretary.

Chauhan, meanwhile, in a letter dated March 31 hit Raja for firing him and said: A head of the office can only be removed with the support of two-thirds of the members of the Central Council by passing a resolution.

Chauhan claimed that he remained the secretary of AICF and pledged to work tirelessly towards the welfare and development of the sport of chess and its stakeholders in India.

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healsonotedthatrajanotonlyattemptedtoremovehimassecretary,butalsoappointeddeshpandeinhisplacewithoutanychoice.

thepresidenthasnoauthoritytoappointanypersonasanofficer-bearerofaicf,chauhancontended.

heallegedthatrajaappearstohavemadethedecisionsincethemaharashtragovernmenthasbeenaskingtheallmarathichessassociationtosubmittheaccountsforthers2croregrantawardedtoitinordertomaintaintheworldyouthchesschampionshipin2019inmumbai.

onmarch18,2020,themaharashtragovernmenthadwrittentorajaaskinghimtoordertheallmarathichessassociationtosubmitthedeclarationofexpenditureandthecertificateofusetothemaharashtrasportsdepartment.

chauhanclaimedthattheletter(whichfiredhim)wasafutileandmaliciousattemptonhis(raja's)parttopreventhimfromtakingactionagainsttheallmarathichessassociationandthebengalchessassociationforallegedmisappropriationoffundsallocatedtothem.

mr.raja'sillegalactionisnothingmorethanamaliciousattempttocoverhistracksandtrytopreventhimfromtakingactionagainstthepeopleinvolvedinthemisappropriationoffunds,chauhansaid.

healsoclaimedthatrajahadceasedtoholdofficeasthepresidentofaicfwitheffectfromfebruary11,thedayonwhichthemadrashighcourt-appointedreturningofficerannouncedtheelectionresultsanddeclaredajaypatelasthenewpresident.

icontendedthatpatel,beingthelastpersontoholdtheofficeofaicfchiefpriortothecourtorder,wastheinterimpresidenttillfreshelectionswereheld.

meanwhile,12statechessassociationsaffiliatedtotheaicfhavecalledforaspecial/extraordinarygeneralbodymeetingofthefederationinnewdelhionapril22.

accordingtoanotice,memberswhocannotphysicallyattendthemeetingcanattendthemeetingthroughaudio/videoconferencesorevenbyemail.

theagendaforthemeetingaccordingtothenoticeincludesamongothersdiscussinganddecidingthefinancialmattersincludingtheduepaymentsofaicf; to discuss and decide about various court cases related to AICF, various cases filed by Tamil Nadu Chess Association and election matter; and take a decision for monitoring and regulating day-to-day functioning of AICF till fresh elections of office-bearers are conducted.

The faction led by Raja and Chauhan has disagreed on various issues and the electoral process was brought to court.

The returning officer appointed by the Madras High Court, the retired Supreme Court judge FM Ibrahim Kalifulla had declared Ajay H Patel as president-elect, Chauhan as secretary, Naresh Sharma as treasurer, M Arun Singh as joint secretary and Vipnesh Bharadwaj as vice president.

After the new officials took office, the High Court set aside his election and asked Kalifulla to convene a Special General Meeting of the General Body to hold new elections after Raja's appeal.

Subsequently, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Chauhan against the order of the Superior Court.

The AICF is awaiting direction from the court regarding conduct of the election of office-bearers.

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