Kalmadi hits back, says his removal ''illegal''

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Embattled Suresh Kalmadi todayhit back at the Sports Minister, terming his sacking from thechairmanship of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee as"illegal and uncalled for."

A day after he was sacked as CWG OC chairman by the newSports Minister Ajay Maken, Kalmadi remained defiant and saidthat only the Indian Olympic Association, which has appointedhim to the post, has the power to remove him.

He said that he would hand over the charge of OC chairmanto the Chief Executive Jarnail Singh -- as has been told to doby the Sports Minister -- under protest.

"I am shocked to receive Order dated 24th January 2011,illegally and arbitrarily removing me from the position ofChairman of the Executive Board and the Organizing Committeeof the Commonwealth Games," Kalmadi wrote in a letter toMaken.

"Without prejudice to my rights and contention and infurtherance of my letter wherein it has been stated that theorder is illegal and without any jurisdiction, I am handingthe charge under protest," he said.

Kalmadi contested the Sports Ministry''s reasoning that hewas removed form his post to ensure "unhindered" probe intoalleged corruption in the conduct of the CWG, claiming that heand the OC officials have been cooperating with the variousinvestigating agencies.

"At the outset it is important for me to point out that Ihave extended all possible cooperation to all investigatingagencies, including the CBI. Further, I have even specificallydirected the entire OC, including the CEO, to whom all FAheads report since 2009, to extend all assistance possible tothe CBI and cooperate with them to the fullest extent.

"I have even written to the CBI stating I am available toassist them at any given point of time. In light of the above,the concerns expressed by the CBI are unfounded and the Orderdated 24th January 2011 is uncalled for," he said.

Kalmadi said as per the Host City contract for the CWG,the OC was established by the IOA and therefore the SportsMinistry was not legally empowered to remove him.

"I was elected as OC chairman by IOA General assembly onNovember 1, 2004. The IOA is an independent autonomous bodyand, as per the Olympic Charter, must remain free fromGovernment interference. It is also relevant to point out thatas per Host City contract for the Games it is responsibilityof the IOA to establish the OC. The Sports Ministry istherefore not legally empowered to remove me," he said.

"I must point out, that the OC is an autonomous societyregistered under Societies Registration Act. As chairman ofthe society, I can only be removed in accordance with theconstitutional documents of the society. In view thereof, theOrder dated 24th January 2011 ought not to have been issued asthe same is without any jurisdiction. The Order dated 24thJanuary 2011 has been issued as a kneejerk reaction to theprejudice created by certain sections of media," he added.

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