2 March 2000


Thank you for your letter of 28th February which I received today.

Please note that ever since our correspondence began I have requested information about the relevant council minute(s), the alleged legal opinion and the fairness of the policies. You have continued to ignore that request Therefore, the responsibility for the protracted nature of this correspondence rests squarely with you.

My comments are as follows:

1. Despite requests, I have still not received a copy of the alleged legal opinion. To the best of my knowledge this legal advice has not been communicated to potential council members (e.g. through the magazine) or through any circular advising them of the constraints, if any, on their council election address. So once again I ask for a copy of the alleged legal opinion and would be grateful to receive one.
2. You have still not provided a copy of the relevant minutes. However, you have now quoted an extract from a council minute to me and add that “Council considered the question of the inclusion of web site addresses in election statements in its last meeting”. You do not say when the “last meeting” took place. My information is that Council last met on 17th February 2000, nearly two weeks after the deadline for the submission of papers for the 2000 council elections. So it appears that the rules are being made retrospectively. Can you please confirm that the extract that you have quoted to me is from the meeting on 17th February.
3. Can you please provide a copy of the minute and/or any public statement which shows that council imposed a ban before 6th February 2000 (believed to be the deadline for submitting papers for the 2000 elections) on the mention of web site addresses in ACCA council election statements.
4. You say that “Council considered the question ...... “. However, there is a crucial issue here. In accordance with the ACCA bye-laws, one-third of the council members are candidates for the 2000 election. They clearly have a vested interest in the issues about the mentioning of a web site address in an election statement. It is also likely that the ACCA officials would have informed council that my election statement contains a web site address. Thus they had an interest in preventing me from mentioning one.  Did they all declare their interest and abstain from the debate and voting? Were they asked to leave the room for the duration of that debate? I would be very grateful for more information as I am sure you will agree that before making a final decision I should have full facts.
5. The fact remains that ACCA has not communicated the same exact information about council election statements to all candidates. For some reason, I have been singled out.

Please note that in the absence of the above information my current position is as previously stated. My letter of 28th February stated that, “In line with previous years, I would wish to have my election address published in full and without any part of it deleted or censored”. I have not consented to any change. May I also remind you that ACCA is a ‘public body’ and is, therefore, obliged to conduct elections in accordance with the public norms.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Prem Sikka