The Sports Ministry on Friday moved the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain appointment of Wrestling Federation chief G S Mander as the Returning Officer for next months Hockey India election scheduled for February 7.
The court issued notices to the Hockey India and Indian Olympic Association on the Sports Ministry’s plea and sought their responses by January 25, the next date of hearing.
The urgent application was filed in the court, which is hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking a probe into the functioning of various sports bodies, including Hockey India and Indian Olympic Association filed by one Rahul Mehra.
The Ministry has requested the court that retired judge of the Delhi High Court, CK Mahajan, be appointed as the Returning Officer (RO) for the HI elections.
They have also suggested that if the court so wishes, they may appoint any other sitting/retired judge of Delhi High Court to conduct the elections. The court asked HI to file a detailed affidavit with regard to the appointment of observer and returning officer for the bodies’ election scheduled for February 7.
Mehra in his PIL contended that various sports bodies could not function as private organisations without any accountability or obligations to the people of the country.
Citing a list of 13 sports bodies, Mehra had sought a direction to the Centre to ensure various sports bodies recognised by the government function in an accountable and transparent manner for the objects for which they have been created. “The government must withdraw recognition in case the bodies and their chiefs failed to achieve their objectives, besides withdrawing funds and patronage from the organisations,” he said.