Delhi HC Refuses To Entertain Plea Challenging Resolution For Appointment Of Ombudsman Of DDCA

New Delhi, Jul 10: The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea challenging and seeking quashing of the resolution for the appointment of retired Justice MM Kumar of Jammu and Kashmir High Court as the Ombudsman cum Ethics Officer of the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA).
This plea was moved by the Secretary of DDCA. The High Court granted liberty to the petitioner to approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) noting that the DDCA is a company registered under section 8 of the India Companies Act.
Justice Subramonium Prasad refused to entertain the plea. He said, ” This Court is, therefore, not inclined to entertain the present Writ Petition at this stage and grants liberty to the Petitioner to approach the NCLT for the redressal of its grievances.”
“If the appointment of Ombudsman is contrary to the laws laid down in the AoA, it is always open for the NCLT to stay the effect of the resolution dated 10.04.2023 and reverse any order passed by the Ombudsman or any action taken by him/her if it is not in the interest of the DDCA,” Justice Prasad said.
The bench also said that the Petitioner has not made out a case that it is imperative for this Court to entertain the present Writ Petition even though an equally efficacious alternative remedy/forum is available to the Petitioner and that the Ombudsman can pass such orders which are irreversible in nature and cannot be rectified if they are found to be faulty.
Petitioner had approached the High Court challenging the notice dated 10.06.2023, issued by the Apex Council of DDCA, for convening the Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Members of the DDCA on 05.07.2023 at the registered office of the DDCA to ratify its resolution of April 10, 2023 by which the Apex Council had appointed Justice MM Kumar (Retd), Former Chief Justice of High Court of Jammu & Kashmir as the Ombudsman cum Ethics Officer of the DDCA.
It was also stated that Justice Indu Malhotra (Retd), former Judge of the Supreme Court of India had been appointed as the Ombudsman cum Ethics Officer of the DDCA. She resigned from the post on 31.03.2023 pursuant to which the Apex Council appointed Justice MM Kumar (Retd) through its resolution dated 10.04.2023.
It was argued that the Resolution dated 10.04.2023, appointing Justice MM Kumar (Retd) as the Ombudsman cum Ethics Officer of the DDCA had been passed clandestinely and is, therefore, invalid and the notice calling for a meeting for ratification of the said resolution should be quashed and set aside.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, counsel for the petition, submitted that the appointment of the former Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir as the Ombudsman cum Ethics Officer of the DDCA is completely contrary to the procedure laid down in the Articles of Association of the DDCA.
He also submitted that Article 10(5)(f) of the Articles of Association (AoA) provides that the Ombudsman cum Ethics Officer of the DDCA can be appointed only at the Annual General Meeting of the General Body of the Apex Council which is held annually.
His contention was that the Resolution for the appointment was not valid since the Petitioner, who is the Secretary of the Apex Council, had not signed the resolution. On the other hand, Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayyar appearing for the respondent raises a preliminary objection on the maintainability of the Writ Petition.
He stated that the DDCA is a company incorporated under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 and, therefore, the remedy for the Petitioner is to move an appropriate application before the NCLT for redressal of his grievances. (Agencies)