In order to safeguard India's participation in international sporting events, the government on Tuesday gave its sanction to Hockey India (HI) for conducting elections on July 28 in New Delhi.
Having advised HI to take no further action regarding elections in the wake of the Delhi High Court reviving Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), the Sports Ministry rescinded its order and announced SK Mendiratta as its observer for the elections. The government also asked HI to provide all documents regarding the electoral college, procedure to follow and rules regarding the AGM.
The government has taken into account a threat by the international hockey federation (FIH), to banish the India women's team from the World Cup at Rosario, Argentina, in August if HI failed to hold elections by July 31, and issued a no objection to elections.
The Ministry is considering this situation as 'unusual' as HI is recognised by the international hockey federation while it has to recognise the IHF to honour a court order.
The Ministry is taking the present situation as a deviation from its policy of one national body for one sport, but in the long run it would like to have one body conforming to its rules. Though the court revived the IHF, it has not passed an order against the existence of HI and thus the Ministry could not have stopped HI, an autonomous body, from conducting elections.
Though its stand has resulted in a situation of uncertainty, the government feels it should avoid a knee-jerk reaction. There is a feeling in the Ministry that it would have a better chance of bringing HI and IHF to the negotiation table if both have elected bodies. The ministry hopes to solve the problem after the Games and therefore gave permission in the interim to avoid FIH sanctions.