AIFF: Chaubey-legal head dispute deepens | – Times of India | IIT EXPERT

New Delhi: The spectre of mistrust between the nodal legal officer of the All India Football Federation, and the AIFF president, Kalyan Chaubey doesn’t seem to be dying down.
After his Feb 4, 2024 mail detailing the legal discrepancies within the AIFF, Nilanjan Bhattacharya this week charged the AIFF president of casting aspersion on his competence as a lawyer by offering him an alternative role and continuing to deliberately bypass him in matters requiring legal counsel.
Further accusing Chaubey of using political clout for arm-twisting within the federation, the legal head stated, “Your act of continuous misrepresentation of the values of the respective political institution by using its name to softly intimidate the general audience and members around is a sincere and serious concern.”
Screenshots of the mail are in possession of TOI.
TOI had reported on Feb 6, 2024, allegations of “massive breach of privacy against the interest of the AIFF” against the president by “not sharing legal contracts or taking legal opinion in any matter,” and had also reported that he was in “no position to any more share my retainership with your good office” since they had been withheld.
After TOI highlighted the non-payment of his dues, Bhattacharya revealed that while his fees for Nov and Dec 2023 have been disbursed, he writes of the “extreme disrespect” of being accused by Chaubey of not communicating with him with anything work related.
“Since the beginning of January 2024, I have not received a single email either soliciting my legal opinion or requiring my written consent to ensure adequate safeguards in the federation’s interests. Furthermore, it was informed to me that my services will only be solicited after I agree to the alternate role as offered by you,” the letter said.
The legal head also raised concerns about legal matters “being referred to certain practitioners of (the president’s preference) and whose appointment has not been approved by ‘anybody in the federation”. “I had raised certain pressing concerns in the interests of the federation. However, (since then) not only have I not received any redressal from your office, attempts have been made by your office to malign and defame me, question my competence and scouting for reasons to restrict my services,” it said. Bhattacharya further alleges, “I would like to submit that contrary to the aspersions created by you, when I have required your good guidance, you were never accessible.”
“More so never in official/court hours and on the contrary (you) would direct to meet at odd hours of the night at your residence, which is beyond the mandate that we are lawfully due to discharge in football’s interest.”
Pointing out that during the legal head’s tenure, “the federation has greatly reduced its effective legal cost in spite of facing increased litigation and legal troubles,” the letter further states that substantial dues of the lawyers still exist and that “no recourse is in sight despite numerous attempts (on Bhattacharya’s part) to get the same settled.”

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