Showcause to Kalmadi comes to light, IOA officials counter it

Showcause to Kalmadi comes to light, IOA officials counter it

The bitter turf war in the IOA today took a dramatic turn with the release of a showcause notice to sacked CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi by the body's disbanded Ethics Commission and four office bearers later countering it as "fabricated and illegal".

On a day marked by allegations and counter allegations, a showcause notice dated December 6, 2011 and issued by the Ethics Commission was released and it was swiftly rubbished as "fabricated and illegal" by the IOA office bearers. The Ethics Commission in question was disbanded by IOA General Body in its meeting on December 15.

"...this is to issue a show-cause notice against all the three of you namely, Mr Suresh Kalmadi, Mr Lalit Bhanot and Mr VK Verma to show cause as to why your membership from Indian Olympic Association and National Sports Federation should not be cancelled," the showcause notice to Kalmadi states.

"Till the matter is, however, disposed of by this Ethics Commission it is hereby to issue an order of suspension from further acting as President, Associate Vice President and Joint Secretary, being office bearers of Indian Olympic Association or even to enter the premises of Indian Olympic Association until further orders passed by this Commission in any other way connected therewith and until further orders passed by this Commission," it added.

Later in the day, four office bearers of IOA rubbished the reports of showcausing Kalmadi by the disbanded Ethics Commission and sought for an inquiry by the acting president into the matter.

The four members of the IOA said any such notice by the commission was "fabricated" and report prepared by it "illegal and unauthorised". "We are shocked to learn of the news of suspension of Mr Suresh Kalmadi, Member of Parliament, from the presidentship of the IOA by the Ethics Commission of the IOA in some sections of media. This is a totally baseless and mischievous report, far from truth and facts," a release issued by the four IOA office bearers said.

The release was signed by two IOA Joint Secretaries -- Rakesh Gupta and S M Bedi -- and two executive body members in Rajeev Mehta and Anandeshwar Reddy. "The Ethics Commission has not held even one meeting till date, as such there is no question of taking any action as reported. Even otherwise no such action can be taken without issuing showcause notice and in this case no such notice has been issued to anybody. Needless to say any report of such commission was placed before IOA General Body for ratification," it said.

The members asked the IOA acting president V K Malhotra to institute an inquiry into how the "illegal and unauthorised report" was leaked in the media. "We strongly condemn people behind such obnoxious move which vitiates sporting atmosphere and create unnecessary controversies. We therefore call upon the acting president of IOA to institute an inquiry as to how this illegal and unauthorised report was leaked in the media and strict action may be taken on the persons for spreading this falsehood and baseless report," the release said.

The leaked notice has been rejected by the IOA with a source close to Malhotra saying that no communication from the Ethics Committee has come to them. But the leak is being seen as an attempt to build pressure on Kalmadi to step down by the faction opposed to him.

A top IOA official said release of a letter by a dissolved panel indicates the politics being played in the IOA corridors right now. "The committee had been disbanded after the General Body meeting. A new committee has been formed recently and the rules are being framed.

"If such a letter of showcause by a disbanded committee exists, why is it being released now? Obviously there is a game being played here. The new committee is the one which has constitutional authority and the rules are being framed," the official said.

The IOA drama has not gone unnoticed for the International Olympic Committee as well which had sought an explanation on Kalmadi's "current and exact situation before
the courts of justice".

In a letter addressed to Malhotra, the IOC has threatened to refer the case to its Ethics Commission at any moment, should the action taken by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) does not have a satisfactory implication.

Kalmadi, who was the IOA President before landing up in jail on corruption charges in the conduct of the 2010 event, was released on bail a couple of days ago after spending nine months behind bars.

The under-siege administrator's position in the IOA is not clear. He has decided to step aside for the time being but has not officially resigned and V K Malhotra is the acting President for almost a year now.