The elections at the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) may have ended with a cliff-hanger verdict in favor of Nagesh Alai, Executive Director, Interface Communication, but the aftermath of this closely fought contest has just about begun.
It is believed that Alai’s newly-elected Executive Committee, which was convened on Friday, August 13, was restrained from taking any decisions at its first meeting by the Mumbai Civil Court.
Rajesh Aggarwal of Dentsu Marcom, who lost the election for an EC position by one vote in Category 1 (Full Service Agencies), has challenged the conduct of the AAAI elections in court, alleging various malpractices.
A separate suit filed by Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Dentsu India, who lost 46-48 to Nagesh Alai for AAAI President, is yet to come up for hearing.
An Executive Committee member, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said that Nagesh Alai came under a lot of fire from his Executive Committee colleagues at the Friday meeting for not extending an olive branch to Goyal, arriving at a truce and getting on with life at AAAI. “The margin was too close for Goyal to give up, especially when he feels that AAAI official machinery robbed him of victory through manipulation of rules and cancellation of proxies. It is incumbent upon the newly-elected governing body to show large-heartedness, bury the past and give Sandeep Goyal an honorable place in the system or else the whole term will be lost in litigation,” the EC member added.
Meanwhile, another Executive Committee member, on conditions of anonymity, said, “It is true that there is a case filed against the Executive Committee elections. However, the Mumbai Civil Court has stated that any decision taken by the AAAI’s Executive Committee should be kept on hold post the first AGM held on August 13, 2010, till there is an outcome and the case is resolved. But the Committee can go ahead with its other functions. No notice has been received from the Court restraining the Committee from taking any decisions, it’s just that if any decisions taken, they are to be on hold and not be implemented till the Court passes its orders.”
Has the Court given restraint orders only because it sees a prima facie case of malafides & malpractices? It’s a question that only time will answer. It might be too early to reach conclusions.
Neville Gomes, Honorary Secretary of last year was Returning Officer for his own election! He was the one who over-ruled the scrutinizers on Rule 1 - one member, one vote, which got him elected fraudulently. This is a technical point and it would be interesting what the court finally rules.
Another key question to ask would be is the election of officebearers, sub-committees and important matters like AAAI-IBF contract in a limbo for now? It would be interesting to see how it gets addressed as this matter progresses.
When contacted, in an email interaction, Sudesh Kapoor, Executive Secretary, AAAI, clarified, “Mr. Rajesh Agarwal, a contestant in Group I of Full Service Category, and who did not win, has filed a case in the Bombay City Civil Court on August 10, 2010, through his authorized representative, Ms Tanya Goyal, against AAAI and six other defendants, including some of the erstwhile office bearers, seeking various reliefs, including, inter alia, an injunction against defendant No. 4, Neville Gomes, and defendant No. 6, Pranav Premnarayen, from assuming the post of Executive Committee Members. In this connection, it may be noted that the first meeting of the Executive Committee was scheduled for August 13, 2010 and the meeting was held as scheduled.”
Kapoor further said, “The Court heard the arguments of both the sides on August 11 and 12, but did not give any interim injunction as prayed for, but just passed an interim order as follows: ‘If any decisions or resolutions passed in meeting dated 13.8.10 the defendants or any persons on their behalf should not implement the resolutions or decisions till 16.8.10, i.e., till passing of the order by this court on N/M of the plaintiff. It is made clear that defendants Nos. 4 and 6 are not prevented from taking part in the meeting dated 13.8.10’.”
“The final orders, which were expected to be passed on August 16, 2010, are now slated to be passed on August 23,” he added.
Calls to Sandeep Goyal went unanswered. His spokesperson simply said that since the matter was now sub-judice, they would not like to comment.
When contacted, Tanya Goyal, too, refrained from commenting, saying the matter was sub-judice.
Watch this space for further developments as we have certainly not heard the last of it, and all eyes are now on August 23, 2010, when the Mumbai Civil Court will pass its orders in this case.
In the interest of the industry and the functioning of this very important industry association it would be desirable that both parties come together and work as team now that elections are over. Someone will have to lead the way and the current Executive Committee and President could now co-opt Sandeep Goyal and other Executive Committee members so the show goes on and no energies are wasted in engaging negatively with each other.
AAAI President elections over, battle is not
46:48 in favor of Nagesh Alai, the new AAAI President; Lynn de Souza appointed Vice President
Sandeep Goyal on AAAI polls: Mine is a crusade against cronyism & convenient conventions
Colvyn Harris steps down mid-term as AAAI Prez; an unusual election expected ahead