IOA Ethics Committee had showcaused Kalmadi

New Delhi: The bitter turf war in the IOA seems to be taking one dramatic turn after another with the latest twist being the release of a showcause notice that was sent to sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi by the body`s disbanded Ethics Commission.

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 and V K Malhotra is the acting President for almost a year now.

Kalmadi has decided to step aside for the time being but has not officially resigned and amid speculation on his future, a showcause notice that was sent to him while he was still in jail has come to light. The letter dated December 6, 2011 was interestingly sent by an Ethics Committee which was disbanded by the IOA General Body after a meeting on December 15.

The notice was also marked for IOA vice President Lalit Bhanot and Joint Secretary V K Verma — both of whom were also in jail on similar charges of corruption before being released on bail on Saturday. "…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 lndian Olympic Association and National Sports Federation should not be cancelled," the notice 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 lndian Olympic Association or even to enter the premises of lndian 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.

The notice was signed by Justice (Retd) Umesh Banerjee, who is also a part of the new ethics committee, which was constituted some days ago. The other members of the new panel are Justice (Retd) Arun Kumar, Justice (Retd) RL Khurana, Justice (Retd) MSA Siddiqui, Justice (Retd) SK Mahajan. 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 is 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 had sent a letter to Malhotra earlier this month asking him to continue discharging his duty as he would not represent the body for some time. The former CWG OC chief had nominated Malhotra as the acting president before being arrested.