Defeated T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) presidential candidate Dinanath Ramnarine has been given the green light to pursue yet another lawsuit against the organisation.
High Court Judge Frank Seepersad yesterday granted Ramnarine leave to pursue a judicial review claim, in which he is challenging the validity of some of the members of the organisation who voted for TTCB president Azim Bassarath over him in board's executive elections in January.
However, Seepersad's decision on the preliminary issue of leave was based on the condition that Ramnarine files his substantive claim against the board within 14 days. The case is expected to come up for hearing on June 18.
According to Ramnarine's leave application, his lawsuit centres around the 21 TTCB zonal representatives from seven zonal councils and 10 affiliate representatives, who were among the members that were allowed to vote in the elections on January 17. The other voting members are the six incumbent executive officers, their six nominated members and six National League representatives.
Ramnarine is contending that several of the representatives of the zonal councils and the affiliates should not have been allowed to vote as they had not complied with the TTCB constitution, which requires them to continuously submit their financial and annual reports.
Ramnarine is also claiming that the affiliates such as representatives from the primary and secondary school leagues and the Umpires Association had an unfair advantage in the elections as they also have the right to vote in zonal council elections as well as for the TTCB executive.
As a secondary issue, Ramnarine is claiming that the TTCB provided the board members with materially false representations on the financial state of the organisation and the performance of the incumbent executive, which influenced the result of the election.
Through the lawsuit, Ramnarine is seeking a range of orders compelling the TTCB to amend its constitution to introduce stricter financial reporting conditions for zonal councils and affiliates, to remove the conflict of interest provisions and to call fresh zonal and executive elections.
Ramnarine's lawsuit comes almost four months after he and representatives of the National League Committee lost another lawsuit challenging the organisation's election rules. The elections were originally due to take place in October 2017 but were postponed pending the determination of the case.
In that case, Ramnarine was alleging that the election rule governing votes for incumbent executive members was unfair, illegal and undemocratic.
Instead, the group was seeking amendments which include the removal of outgoing votes, a one club-one vote system and a term limit for TTCB president.
It was also contending that seats on the executive should be afforded to the Tobago Cricket Association, primary and secondary schools, the Umpires Council and women’s cricket.
In a 15-page judgement, Justice Jacqueline Wilson dismissed the claim as she ruled that the court could not intervene in the dispute.
"The court must not allow itself to become an umpire to resolve a controversy in which the TTCB and its members may be embroiled," she said.
The trial of the case before Wilson came months after the National Gas Company (NGC) conducted an audit into the TTCB for alleged misappropriation of its sponsorship money.
NGC's audit centred around almost $13 million in sponsorship, it provided to the TTCB, between 2014 and 2016.
The report, which was leaked in June, last year, allegedly stated that 24 per cent of the funds were not used as stipulated. It accused the TTCB of unilaterally reallocating $2,983,000 in unused funding to itself and failing to keep proper accounting records.
Ramnarine is being represented by Rajesh Bududass.