Conduct WFI election afresh as per Sports Code: Haryana federation - Hindustan Times
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Conduct WFI election afresh as per Sports Code: Haryana federation

ByAvishek Roy, New Delhi
Nov 30, 2023 10:55 PM IST

The Supreme Court had, on Tuesday, set aside a stay order of Punjab and Haryana High Court on WFI elections

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections should start afresh as the existing final list of electoral college and contesting candidates is in breach of the National Sports Code, the Haryana Amateur Wrestling Association (HAWA) has appealed to the ad-hoc committee on Thursday.

File photo of wrestling.(File)
File photo of wrestling.(File)

"There are a lot of controversial names seen in the list. So, only a fresh process after getting list from all the states with their eligibility can bring good governance in sport," HAWA president Rohtash Singh has written to the ad-hoc committee.

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"The Election of Office Bearers & ECM may please be conducted as per the National Sports Development Code- 2011, which is compulsory for all the NSF and same has been passed by the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi," he wrote.

He said that some of the states have genuine grievances and needs to be heard again with a “fresh schedule of election.” The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside a stay order of Punjab and Haryana High Court on WFI elections. "It will be open for the Returning Officer to proceed with the election by publishing revised election programme," said the Supreme Court Order.

"We make it clear that outcome of the election will be subject to the final orders which may be passed in the writ petition," as per the order.

The WFI election has faced several obstacles with disaffiliated state units moving court from time to time. A day before the polling on August 12, the Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the elections on a writ petition filed by another Haryana faction -- Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA) which contested the returning officer's decision to grant voting rights to rival faction HAWA.

As per the list of contesting candidates, Brij Bhushan Singh loyalist Sanjay Singh was pitted against 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anita Sheoran for the president's post.

It remains to be seen whether the entire election process will begin afresh. For now, the WFI remains suspended by United World Wrestling.

On September 1, a Division Bench of Delhi High Court, hearing a PIL by senior advocate Rahul Mehra, asked the centre to ensure "strict compliance" with the Sports Code with respect to future National Sports Federation (NSF) elections. Last year in August, the Delhi High Court in a landmark judgement in the matter of IOA elections, made the Sports Code applicable for every NSFs and that its compliance should be the condition for 'grant of recognition' by the Sports Ministry.

The Sports Code sets age and tenure limits for all members of the executive committee, reserves appointment of 25% prominent sportspersons of outstanding merit with voting rights in the executive council, besides several such measures promoting transparency and good governance in sports bodies. The court also asked for the Sports Code to be made applicable in every state and district level associations.

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