Hockey India, ministry differ over election guidelines

July 19th, 2010 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) A fresh spat broke out between Hockey India (HI) and the sports ministry Monday on the issue of guidelines for the July 28 elections after government put an age restriction that could disallow the candidature of HI’s interim president Vidya Stokes.

S.K. Mendiratta, the government observer appointed by the sports ministry, pointed out to R.C. Chopra, the returning officer for the HI elections, that since the national body is conducting elections for the first time, the tenure clause set by the sports ministry will not be applicable, but said the age limit of 70 years for office bearers will stay for the elections.

“The restriction relating to number of terms of office would not apply in the case of the present election, this being the first election of office bearers of Hockey India. However, the age restriction with regard to the above mentioned offices of president, secretary general and treasurer shall be applicable in relation to the present elections,” Mendiratta wrote in his letter to Chopra.

Stokes retaliated by writing to Chopra and said that since HI is a society formed under the Society’s Registration Act, 1860, the elections will be held according to its own constitution and guidelines.

“We are not in agreement with the views as expressed …… as we are a Society formed under the Society’s Registration Act, 1860 and hence having our own Constitution and Election Guidelines on the basis of which the elections are being held. We hereby submit that the aforesaid restrictions are not binding or applicable to our Society, which is governed by its own Constitution, Rules, Regulations and Bye-Laws,” Stokes wrote in her letter to Chopra.

Stokes also said that HI shall take legal action if the minsitry tries to interfere in the election process.

“In view of the same, we kindly request you to conduct the election in accordance with the constitution and election bye-laws of Hockey India. And in case government of India and sports ministry initiates any action against our election then we shall invoke legal remidies as will be advised,” she warned.

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