HI election: High Court forces govt to withdraw HI poll observer (Lead)

July 27th, 2010 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) The sports ministry Tuesday pulled out its observer from Wednesday’s Hockey India (HI) election after the Delhi High Court said that the Indian Hockey Federation and not HI is the controlling body of the game.
On a day of dramatic developments, Delhi High Court, which had last month ruled the suspension of K.P.S Gill-led IHF illegal, said unless the government clears its status HI cannot go ahead with its election as it is a private body and IHF is the recognised authority to run the sport.

It is not clear whether HI would still go ahead with the election as none of its top officials was available for their views, though one of the members said that the election would be held.

“Observer or no observer, HI will hold the long-awaited election,” said the official not wanting to be named.

The High Court directed the government and the HI to issue a clarification by evening to all the state units that it is a private body.

“The HI election can be held only after the clarification by the government and HI,” said the court order.

The ministry issued a statement in the evening, saying it is withdrawing observer

S.Mendiratta.

“The presence of government observer at the HI annual general meeting does not in any manner reflect its endorsement of the election process or its outcome,” sports ministry said in a statement.

“However, in deference to Hon’ble Court’s directive, the government has decided not to depute the election observer.

“In the present situation with two recognised National Sports Federations (NSF) for hockey, only one of which, namely HI, enjoying the required support of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the government will comply with the directions of the court to obtain the cooperation of IHF and IOA and any other body that may have been set up to resolve the matter in the best interests of hockey in the country.”

The government also pulled up HI, saying it has taken note during the scrutiny of nominations for its election, that it was not bound by government guidelines relating to age and tenure limits.

“The government is of the view that every NSF is fully bound by the guidelines for it to function as an NSF and perform the public functions of selecting the national team and deputing it for participation in international competitions.”

The HI election has been postponed thrice before.

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