New Delhi: A day after his arrest on
corruption charges, Suresh Kalmadi`s 15-year tenure as the IOA
president came to an abrupt end after he was sacked from the
post and veteran sports administrator VK Malhotra was
`unanimously` named as the acting president.
The swift action to end Kalmadi`s reign as the supremo
was taken by the IOA officials in a meeting chaired by
Malhotra himself, citing clause 13B of the constitution which
empowers the vice-president to take interim charge in the
absence of the president.
Malhotra said he will call a meeting of the IOA Executive
Board at the earliest in consultation with the Secretary
General Randhir Singh, who is out of town, and discuss the
situation arising out of the arrest of Kalmadi.
"IOA constitution is very clear, there cannot be vacuum
and work of the IOA will have to continue. So I have accepted
to work as the acting president of the IOA," Malhotra told
reporters after the meeting.
"I will call a meeting of the Executive Committee as soon
as possible which is prescribed under the constitution.
Secretary General (Randhir Singh) is returning to Delhi and
after consulting him I will call a meeting of the Executive
Board. We will discuss all the issues at length in the Board
meeting," he said.
Kalmadi, former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee
chairman, was yesterday arrested by CBI for allegedly awarding
a contract for the mega event to a Swiss company at an
inflated rate of Rs 141 crore in a "pre-meditated" manner.
But, the haste shown in removing Kalmadi came as a
surprise to many of the IOA office bearers, particularly when
its Secretary General Randhir Singh was out of station.
It was not clear whether the meeting, where 15 members
are said to have attended, has legal validity. The IOA
officials, however, maintained that senior members were
consulted over telephone before taking the decision to appoint
Malhotra as acting president.
Vice President Tarlochan Singh, who was also present at
the meeting, said that many of the members could not be
present at the conclave because of the short notice but they
have consulted them on phone.
"Under Article 13B of IOA constitution, the senior vice
president will chair all the meeting during the absence of the
president. In case of the long absence of the president, the
senior vice president will discharge all the responsibilities
of the president. So we have decided to appoint Mr Malhotra as
the acting president," Tarlochan said.
The IOA`s Executive Board is scheduled to meet here on
May 1 to discuss the sports ministry`s National Sports Draft
Bill and that forum could be used to discuss the future course
The IOA administrators are to meet the sports ministry
officials to discuss the Bill on May 2 as per the date given
by the ministry.
"Since we are scheduled to meet on May 1 though for some
other purpose, it is very much possible that we will discuss
Kalmadi`s arrest and future course of action," the source
When contacted, Secretary General Randhir Singh said that
he will be reaching Delhi later in the day. "I will be
reaching soon and will take of the situation. No meeting has
been called yet," Randhir said.
The sports ministry had yesterday asked the IOA to
appoint a new president since a person who has been
chargesheeted or jailed should not head any organisation.
The ministry had also said that it will take legal
opinion on whether to take action on its own in case the IOA
refuses to adhere to its directive.
The IOA has been left in a disarray with the arrest of
Kalmadi who had considerable clout within the organisation.
With his two trusted aides Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma also in
jail in connection with the CWG scam, the leadership vacuum is
felt even more.
As per the IOA constitution, a person can be removed from
his post with a two-third majority in the General Body.
As per the IOA structure, there is only one senior vice
president while there are as many as 12 vice presidents which
include politicians like J S Gehlot, Abhay Singh Chautala,
Jagdish Tytler, Bhubneshwar Kalita and Tarlochan Singh among
Randhir Singh is the only general secretary and N
Ramachandran the treasurer while there are six joint
secretaries, including Bhanot. The executive committee
comprises 19 members.
The idea of having a huge representation is to ensure
that all the national federations are represented in the
highest decision making body.