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IHF to appoint returning officer

The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) is in the process of finalising a retired high court judge as returning officer and will allow its members to vote through a secret ballot on October 3.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2010 00:32 IST
HT Correspondent

The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) is in the process of finalising a retired high court judge as returning officer and will allow its members to vote through a secret ballot on October 3.

The IHF put in place the process after the Sports Ministry advised it to strictly follow government guidelines on elections and warned that failure to do so will impact its recognition as a national sports federation.

Though the IHF issued a notice on September 9 for AGM and elections at New Delhi, it gave no information about the returning officer, Electoral College and the manner of voting.

It only asked the member units to nominate a male and a female representative for the AGM. With the Ministry apparently unaware of the plans, it was being alleged that the Sports Department was biased and had not raised the issue of its guidelines as it did ahead of Hockey India elections.

The Ministry finally responded this weekend and sent a letter asking IHF to adhere to its guidelines for organising “free, fair and transparent elections”.

The Ministry advised the IHF to appoint an independent returning officer (preferably a retired High Court Judge) to initiate the election process, issue a clear election schedule spelling out date of filing of nominations, withdrawal of nominations and scrutiny of nominations, publication of list of candidates, date of elections etc and to put in place a clear and transparent voters list which will form the electoral college.

IHF sources, however, claimed that they are following the guidelines and will be informing the Ministry soon about the steps it has taken. The Ministry also noted that it has not been intimated about the changes brought in IHF constitution to facilitate its merger with the Indian Women's Hockey Federation (IWHF).