Hyderabad: This is yet another ignominious page in the wretched on-going struggle for power in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA). Fresh controversy erupted over the appointment of Justice (retd) Deepak Verma, former judge of Supreme Court, as Ombudsman of the association with both the groups wrangling on a day of suspense and high drama on Monday.
In the morning, there was a mail to President Mohammed Azharuddin with a copy to Ramakanth Reddy (legal advisor to Azharuddin) and Adnan Mehmood (legal advisor to secretary R Vijayanand) in which Justice Verma said he had received a letter from R Vijayanand, secretary of HCA, of intimating therein that two other Judges have been appointed as Ombudsman and Ethics Officer, separately.
“In the light of this huge controversy, kindly spare me and I do not wish to get involved in this politics, between two factions. I hope you understand my difficulty.’’
The Vijayanand group had assumed that Justice Verma had declined the post of Ombudsman. In the letter to Justice Verma a few days ago, Vijayanand said that Justice Nisar Ahmed Kakru (former chief justice of Telangana and AP High Court) and Justice (retd) T Meena Kumari (former chief justice of Meghalaya High Court) were appointed as Ombudsman and Ethics Officer respectively.
Vijayanand further said that Azharuddin did not have the approval of the General Body members of the HCA to Justice Verma’s appointment as Ombudsman cum Ethics Officer.
They added that the letter dated 11-04-21, addressed by Azharuddin, does not represent the actual facts which transpired in the AGM.
But by evening, Justice Verma sprung a surprise again when he clarified in an E-mail: “In furtherance of the Email sent above by me, I would like to clarify that vide Email dated 12.04.2021, I had assumed the charge of Ombudsman of HCA.
“My previous mail is not to be mis-interpreted as I am still the Ombudsman of HCA. The purpose of writing the previous mail was to let everyone know that I don’t want to get involved in the politics and tussle between the two groups and also not to approach me if there is any conflict between the two groups.
“I am in no way a party to the dispute or politics between the two factions and I urge everyone not to involve me in all this. Both the factions are free to approach the Court of law and put their grievances before the Court. I have nothing to do with any of this conflict. I have re-assumed charge of Ombudsman after going through the High Court Order and after receiving an Email dated 11.04.2021 from the President of HCA and I intend to serve as Ombudsman of HCA till my tenure ends.’’
Justice Verma clarified that he would not be in a position to travel to Hyderabad looking at the current situation. “Therefore, if any hearing is to take place, the same can be done through online video conferencing,’’ he said.
Azharuddin too added that Justice Verma had never said he was declining the Ombudsman post. “He never mentioned in the e-mail of not accepting the post. In fact, the April 11 AGM had clearly approved the name of Justice Verma. The `second meeting’ which was held after I adjourned is an invalid one .
“We have the videos which clearly showed we have the majority and in which the members approved Justice Verma’s appointment,’’ he asserted.
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