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Chess federation postpones AGM as audited accounts were not ready

14 Jun, 2024 18:55 IST|Sakshi Post

Chennai, June 14 (IANS) Questions are being raised about how the All-India Chess Federation had called and cancelled its Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) slated to be held on Friday evening at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

“For the first time in AICF’s history an Annual General Body Meeting was called and cancelled for non-receipt audited accounts hours before the meeting to be held,” an official of a state chess association told IANS preferring anonymity.

One of the issues on the agenda of the meeting is to discuss and decide on hosting the World Chess Championship 2024 between Indian GM D.Gukesh and the reigning World Champion, Chinese GM Ding Liren.

The AICF has sent its bid to the International Chess Federation or FIDE to host the World Chess Championship Final Match.

The AICF in the wee hours of Friday sent out an email to the various state associations and its office-bearers informing them about the cancellation of the meeting, said an official of a state chess association not wanting to be named.

The email announcing the cancellation of the Annual General Body Meeting said: “Regarding the captioned subject, we wish to inform you that we have not received the signed audited report for the financial year 2023-24 from the AICF Auditor (Arsan & Co) appointed at the previous Annual General Body. Hence we are compelled to cancel the Executive Council and Annual General Body Meeting of AICF scheduled for June 14, 2024. The new date and time of these meetings will be informed soon.”

Preferring anonymity office bearers of two state chess associations told IANS that in the past an annual general body meeting would be called only after getting ready the audited accounts, annual reports, minutes and other papers.

"Not only the audited accounts but also the annual report, minutes of the earlier meetings were also not sent with the notice calling the annual general body meeting," an official of one of the State Association told IANS preferring anonymity.

AICF President Nitin Narang, Secretary Dev A. Patel and Treasurer Dharmendra Kumar were not available for comments when contacted by IANS.

The Kanpur-based Chartered Accountants Arsan &Co has been auditing the AICF books for the past couple of years. The AICF Secretary Patel issued the notice calling for the Annual General Body Meeting on 23.05.2024 listing out the following as the agenda:

-To confirm and rectify the minutes of the previous General Body Meetings.

-To consider and approve the audited statement of accounts for the year 2023-24.

- To consider and approve the annual report for the year 2023-24.

-To consider and approve the Budget for the year 2024-25.

-To appoint auditors and a Legal Firm for the year 2024-25 and fix their remuneration.

-Amendments to the constitution proposed by EC (Executive Committee) or by any affiliated Association – To discuss and decide with or without modifications.

-Matters related to various states including discussion on Court orders received related to Andhra Pradesh.

-National Championships – To discuss & decide.

-Further discussion of the AICF Chess development plan.

-Selection criteria for Indian teams for the 35th Chess Olympiad discussed & decided.

-Revision on Financial Regulation -To discuss and decide.

-World Junior Chess Championship 2024-Brief report.

-World Chess Championship 2024-To discuss and decide.

-Pending Court Cases & Legal Matters – To discuss and decide.

-Any other matter with the permission of the Chair.

It is not known why the auditors haven’t submitted the audited accounts to AICF.

In January 2024, AICF’s Interim Secretary Ajeet Kumar Verma told IANS that some papers and inventories were missing from the office and there are plans to conduct a forensic audit.

“We found some of the papers, and inventories missing from the AICF office. It was decided to appoint an external auditor to audit the accounts. If need be, forensic audits will also be carried out. The proposed audit will also check on the payments made to various people,” Verma had told IANS.

Queried about the missing papers Naresh Sharma, former Treasurer, AICF told IANS: “All the papers were safely handed over to the new office bearers of AICF.”

Earlier Sharma had told IANS that the missing papers were kept in safe custody so that they are not destroyed to implicate some officials and the papers will be returned to the new office bearers.

It is not known whether the AICF plans to appoint a new audit firm to audit its books. The chess body had earlier at its urgent General Body Meeting held on December 28, 2023, decided to appoint another audit firm.

Meanwhile, officials of AICF’s audit firm Arsan & Co were not available for comments when IANS tried to reach them. Chess officials also told IANS that AICF does not have factions and is not a divided house.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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