Chennai, March 31 : At a time when the election process in the All India Chess Federation (AICF) is underway, its President P.R. Venketrama Raja has dismissed AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan from the post.
Reacting to the development, Chauhan told IANS: "An office-bearer can be removed only with the support of two-third members of the Central Council by passing a resolution." Continuing further, Chauhan said Raja has not only attempted to remove him as the Secretary, but also appointed Vijay Deshpande of All Marathi Chess Association in his place without any election being held.
"The President has no authority to appoint any person as an officer-bearer of AICF," Chauhan said.
In his letter dated March 30, Raja, after listing various omissions and commissions of Chauhan, said that under the powers vested with the AICF President under Article 15(a) of the chess body's constitution, the latter is removed from the post of Secretary.
The second part of the rule states: "If, in the opinion of the President, any emergency has arisen in the affairs of AICF which requires immediate action, he may take such action as deemed necessary and report the same to the next meeting of the Central Council or General Body.
Chauhan said Raja seems to have taken a decision as the government of Maharashtra has been asking the All Marathi Chess Association to submit the accounts for the Rs 2 crore grant given to it for the purpose of holding the World Youth Chess Championship in 2019 in Mumbai.
On March 18, 2020, the Maharashtra government had written to Raja asking him to instruct the All Marathi Chess Association to submit the expenditure statement and utilisation certificate to the Sports Department of Maharashtra.
"Accountability and responsibility in utilisation of funds in proper manner, transparency and proper records etc. are the cardinal characteristics of financial discipline and management. Because of non submission of utilisation certificates, it is very hard for us for scrutiny, audit and other post spending verifications," the letter noted.
Meanwhile, 12 state chess associations affiliated to the AICF has called for a special/extra ordinary general body meeting of AICF in Delhi on April 22.
According to the notice calling the meeting, the members who are not able to attend it physically may attend the same through audio/video conferencing or even by email.
As per the notice, the agenda for the meeting, among others, include: (a) To discuss and decide about the financial matters including the due payments of AICF; (b) To discuss and decide about various court cases related to AICF, various cases filed by Tamil Nadu Chess Association and election matter; (c) To discuss and decide about the due payments/grant related issues of Bengal Chess Association and election of Bengal Chess Association; (d) To discuss and decide about various issues related to World Youth Chess Championship 2019 held at Mumbai and (e) To take a decision for monitoring and regulating day to day functioning of AICF till fresh elections of office-bearers are conducted.