HC Stays Notification for Electing Kabaddi Federation Office Bearers

The Delhi High Court has stayed the notification for elections to Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), observing that a person who is not concerned with the relevant sport activity cannot be nominated as voter on behalf of any state.

The high court was hearing a plea which claimed the electoral college finalised by AKFI consists of as many as 13 ineligible voters.

The petitioners claimed these people are not eligible to be voters since some of them are not connected to Kabaddi, while others have crossed the maximum tenure limit.

The plea referred to a February 10 order of the high court that said the members of electoral college must be in compliance with the National Sports Code and Model Election Guidelines.

Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav issued notice to AKFI and the Centre on the petition, saying, “It is seen that this matter requires consideration. This court is of the prima facie view that a person who is not concerned with the relevant sport activity cannot be nominated as a voter on behalf of any State. However, this prima facie observation is subject to further hearing of counsel for the respective parties.”

The high court asked AKFI and the Centre to respond to the petition filed by Manojan Rajan, C Honappa Gowda and Rajarathinam, and listed the matter for further hearing on July 24.

The petitioners were represented by senior advocate C Mohan Rao and lawyer Sravan Kumar.

The counsel for AKFI opposed the submissions of the petitioner’s counsel and said if the decision passed by the high court on February 10 is perused, the same would indicate that there is no violation by the federation in including the names of the 13 members against whom objections have been raised.

The lawyer read out various paragraphs of the previous order and said there is no such embargo on nominating them as voters.

The high court had on February 10 directed the administrator of AKFI to hold the elections within three months.

The court had said the elections should be notified in accordance with its directions including the ‘age and tenure restriction’ on the members of the governing body, emphasising that the National Sports Code applies not just to the parent body but also to all of AKFI’s affiliated units at the state and district levels.

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The high court had said since AKFI continues to be under the control of the administrator and elections to the executive committee of the sports body have to be held, a batch of five petitions concerning the implementation of the sports code at AKFI are disposed.

It had said if the state and district associations want to remain members of AKFI, they will have to amend their memorandum of association/constitution and bring them in conformity with the sports code, particularly in respect of the age and tenure restrictions.

It had quashed the notification of August 7, 2019 for elections to AKFI as also the notification of the electoral college issued by the administrator.

The sports body was put under an administrator following a 2018 order of the high court on a petition alleging nepotism in its functioning.

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