The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has moved the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order refusing to stay a lower court’s decision to declare the association's composition invalid.
Senior counsel Harish N. Salve mentioned the NRAI’s petition on Tuesday for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, which fixed Feb. 15 for taking up the case.
The High Court had refused to interfere with the Jan. 15 lower court order for the time being and adjourned the NRAI’s appeal for further hearing on March 3. It had also sought the response of Raju Soni, a life member of the NRAI, who had moved the trial court against the re-election of Digvijay Singh and Baljit Singh Sethi as president and secretary-general of NRAI respectively.
The lower court had said the NRAI president and secretary-general could not continue as they had flouted norms by holding on to their respective posts, despite the completion of two terms.
Now, the NRAI wants an immediate stay of the Jan. 15 order of the lower court in view of the Commonwealth Championships, scheduled from Feb. 17-28. The NRAI said if the order was not stayed, the Championship, a test event for the Commonwealth Games, was in danger.
A 42-member strong team will represent India at the event, to be held at the Karni Singh Range. Shooters from 13 countries will take part in the competition, a test event for the redesigned range.
Soni had alleged that the secretary-general had been in office since June 1985, continuously for six terms, and the president, elected in 1999, was still occupying the office after the completion of two terms. “The secretary-general is running NRAI as his personal fiefdom and quashes any dissent,” alleged Soni. The trial court noted that according to Rule 13 in the mandate of NRAI, the maximum continuous period to an office by an elected member is two terms.