In a jolt to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, a city civil court on Tuesday temporarily restrained him from functioning as president of the Mumbai Cricket Association but gave him a week to appeal against the order.
Judge M S Sharma passed the interim order while hearing an application by senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde seeking Pawar to be restrained from functioning as MCA president pending hearing of his suit challenging the NCP supremo's election as its chief.
Munde had also challenged the rejection of his nomination to contest the biennial presidential election.
"The court allowed Munde's application seeking interim relief and restrained Pawar from functioning as MCA president. The court also directed for Munde's suit to be heard on a day-to-day basis and to be decided within three months," Munde's lawyer Vivekananda Gupta said.
The court has, however, allowed Pawar to approach a higher court in appeal within a week.
In his suit, Munde said the rejection of his nomination by the election officer S M Gorwadkar was "illegal" and prayed for fresh election for the post of MCA president.
Munde's application to contest was rejected by the election officer on the basis of his residential status, observing that the address on his electoral registration was Beed.
Munde's lawyer Niranjan Bhadang contended that Munde was a permanent resident of Mumbai and owned property in the city although he was enrolled in his constituency Parli-Vaijnath in Beed district of Maharashtra.
Moreover, former union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had also been granted appropriate relief in an identical matter in 2011 so there could not be two different yardsticks applied by the MCA in a similar matter, he argued.
Munde also prayed that Pawar, who was declared elected unopposed, should not take charge and, if he does, should not be allowed to discharge the functions of the president.
He has also named outgoing MCA president Ravi Savant, joint secretaries Nitin Dalal and P V Shetty, C T Singhvi (of Vile Parle club), who had raised the objection to Munde's nomination, and Gorwadkar as respondents.
According to MCA rules, only a Mumbai resident can become president of the cricketing body. Savant had said that as per a Bombay High Court order of 2006, a person could have residences in different cities, but he is considered to be a permanent resident of only that place where his name appears on the electoral rolls.