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Updated December 17th, 2023 at 17:02 IST

AIFF alters draft minutes of ExCo meeting to sack Prabhakaran, reveal records

Prabhakaran was sacked from his post on November 7 for "breach of trust" and the AIFF executive committee endorsed the decision in a meeting two days later.

Shaji Prabhakaran
Shaji Prabhakaran interacts in a press conference | Image:AIFF
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The draft minutes of the executive committee meeting of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) held last month relating to the sacking of General Secretary Shaji Prabhakaran were changed within two days, it is learnt. The move came after the Delhi High Court stayed his removal.

A single bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad of the Delhi HC on December 8 had ordered an interim stay on Prabhakaran's sacking, holding that "the petitioner (Prabhakaran) has been able to make out a prima facie case in his favour that the termination is completely contrary to the procedure as laid down in the Constitution of AIFF".

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Article 32 clause 11 of the AIFF Constitution says that "the executive committee shall appoint or dismiss the General Secretary on the proposal of the (AIFF) president".

Prabhakaran, through his counsel, had contended that the issue regarding his termination "was not even placed before the executive committee".

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Prabhakaran was sacked from his post on November 7 for "breach of trust" and the AIFF executive committee endorsed the decision in a meeting two days later. The termination letter served on him was signed by AIFF president Kalyan Chaubey, vice president NA Haris and treasurer Kipa Ajay.

It is now learnt that the AIFF first circulated draft minutes of the November 9 meeting to the executive committee members on December 14, more than one month following the actual meeting and a few days after the Delhi High Court interim stay on Prabhakaran's removal.

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The AIFF then sent revised draft minutes on December 16 in which a paragraph was inserted, saying: "Ratification of decisions of Emergency Committee meeting dated November 7, 2023 relating to the termination of secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran and appointment of acting secretary general M Satyanarayan".

The section relating to the Emergency Committee meeting was not mentioned in the earlier draft minutes of December 14.

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A senior official of the AIFF, when contacted, refused to comment on why the changes were made in the revised draft minutes.

"The matter is sub-judice and we are going to submit the minutes to the court, so we can't give any comments," the official told PTI.

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The next date of hearing at the Delhi High Court is on December 20. Nobody appeared for the AIFF before the Delhi High Court on December 8.

Article 34 of the AIFF Constitution of 2017 says that the Emergency Committee "shall deal with all matters requiring immediate settlement between two meetings of the Executive Committee".

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The Emergency Committee shall consist of the AIFF President, the Honorary President, the six Vice Presidents and the Treasurer.

"The President shall convene the Emergency Committee meetings. If a meeting cannot be convened within an appropriate period of time, decisions may be passed through means of electronic communication or circulation. Such decisions shall have immediate legal effect".

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The AIFF earlier used to have six vice presidents but now has only one -- N A Haris.

It is not known whether the AIFF president had issued a formal notification to convene the Emergency Committee.

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Anil Kumar, an executive committee member, had stated during the meeting on November 9 that a notice must be given to terminate an employee as a matter of respect, according to the draft minutes.

However, he said he was satisfied with the termination of the General Secretary.

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"He (Anil Kumar) also suggested that a newer protocol must be followed to terminate employees thereon," the draft minutes said.

Unlike in many National Sports Federations, the post of AIFF General Secretary is a paid one and hence he or she is an employee. 

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Published December 17th, 2023 at 17:02 IST

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