MCA's 5-year ban on Ratnakar Shetty gets stay order from civil court in Mumbai

Ratnakar Shetty was banned for five years by the Mumbai Cricket Association for alleging that some office bearers of the MCA were involved in black marketing of tickets of the India-Pakistan T20 match played at Ahmedabad in December 2012 © AFP

Mumbai: Sep 7, 2013

In a relief to Board of Control for Cricket in India‘s (BCCI) game development officer Ratnakar Shetty, a civil court in Mumbai stayed the Mumbai Cricket Association‘s five-year ban on him.

Shetty, who has served MCA in various capacities over the last three decades, was banned by the association for alleging that some office-bearers of MCA might be involved in black marketing of tickets of India-Pakistan T20 international played at Ahmedabad on December 28 last year.

MCA imposed the ban on June 3 after giving Shetty an opportunity to hear the voice recording of his allegations levelled at the association’s AGM of March 22. Shetty replied to its show-cause notice, but it was rejected.

Shetty then approached Mumbai City Civil Court challenging the ban on the ground that it was arbitrary and illegal.

The court accepted his contention and granted an interim injunction (stay), as the main suit would be heard in due course. MCA has been given time till September 16 to file appeal in the higher court if it wishes so.

The ban would have prevented Shetty from taking part in all activities of the association, including the elections.

“The court has stayed the decision of the Mumbai Cricket Association to debar me for five years. This is an interim stay that we had asked for,” Shetty told PTI.

An MCA official told PTI that it was planning to file an appeal.

With this victory in hand, Shetty said he was planning to challenge the MCA’s decision to change eligibility rules for contesting the forthcoming biennial elections.

The managing committee of MCA had taken a decision in July to debar anyone who is a paid employee of BCCI, the National Cricket Academy (NCA), or who is a coach or an employee with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees, from elections.

“Another amendment they have made is that employees of BCCI and IPL cannot vote or contest, so we will challenge that definitely after a discussion with my lawyers,” Shetty said.