Delhi court cancels Online Elections at FCC of South Asia
Orders vote by Raise of Hands or Secret Ballot
Delhi Crown Bureau
New Delhi: In a major embarrassment and setback to Munish Gupta, the “president” of Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) of South Asia, and his cronies, a Delhi court on Wednesday cancelled the elections to-be-held through online mode, and called for an election either by raise of hands or by secret ballot as enshrined in the Club’s Constitution.
The online elections were scheduled to be held on March 25 and 26, and the results were to be declared on March 27 at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), much to the contravention of the Club’s Constitution and bye-laws. The Club’s Constitution clearly mentions that the elections must be held “at the AGM” by raise of hands or secret ballot.
But “president” Munish Gupta was hell bent on holding elections through online mode.
While disposing off a civil suit filed by a senior member of the Club, Senior Civil Judge Sheetal Chaudhary Pradhan said in a 6-page order that the elections “should not be conducted by online mode”.
“In view of the facts and circumstances, the plaintiff has been able to establish a prima facie case in his favour. The plaintiff has not raised any unreasonable objections and has only sought that the members are granted opportunity to participate in the elections by physically casting their votes as provided under clause 8 of the bye-laws, therefore, balance of convenience also lies in favour of the plaintiff and he may suffer irreparable loss if the temporary relief in the form of injunction is not granted at this stage,” said the Court Order.
It added – “So, in view of the above observations, the application moved by the plaintiff is allowed to the extent that the elections be not conducted by online mode.”
The lady judge observed – “Considering that there is a specific manner in which election of office bearers is to be conducted, I deem it appropriate that defendant comply with clause 8 of the bye-laws reproduced earlier in the present order and conduct the election not by online mode.”
The civil suit was moved before the district court only last week, against the bid by Munish Gupta and his cronies to hoodwink or rig the elections in their favour by conducting the polls through online mode. Taking it as an Urgent Matter, the district court heard the matter thrice within the past one week.
Welcoming the court order, Club’s Member on the Governing Committee and former Treasurer Pankaj Yadav told www.thedelhicronw.com , “It is nothing but a tight slap on the face of Munish Gupta and his cronies, including Kumkum Chadha, Sebastein Farcis, Antje Stiebitz, Simran Sodhi, Ayanjit Sen, Tawqueer Hussain, etc. who had come out in the open support of Munish Gupta despite all the irregularities being committed at his command(s). It’s also a tight slap on the face of Returning Officer (R.O.) Ratnajyoti Dutta who was playing a puppet in the hands of Munish Gupta by sharing every minutest detail regarding the election processes like nominations etc. with him. Ratnajyoti Dutta wasn’t doing justice with his role as R.O. He was and is known to be close to Munish Gupta.”
www.thedelhicrown.com tried its best to reach out to Munish Gupta and R.O. Ratnajyoti Dutta, but both remained unavailable for their comments.