The Delhi High Court today (Friday) refused to vacate, at this stage, a stay on the election for office bearers of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI). The elections were scheduled for Sunday, September 1.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, AKFI and A C Thangavel, a former Kabaddi player from Tamil Nadu, seeking their response on an appeal by the temporary president and vice-president of the federation against the order of the single judge.
The bench also issued notice on the application to stay the single judge’s order and said the court was not going to interfere with it at this stage.
The single judge had on August 27 stayed the elections of AKFI on Thangavel’s petition challenging the AKFI’s three orders of August 7, 16 and 17 by which polls were notified by the administrator, electoral roll published and the objections raised by him dismissed without assigning any reasons.
Before the single judge, the petitioner, represented through advocates Rahul Mehra and R Arunadhri Iyer, has submitted that these orders were issued contrary to the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, and the electoral roll had members who were not qualified to be a part of the electoral college.
The Friday’s appeal filed by Kasani Gnaneshwar Mudiraj and K Jagdishwer Yadav, AKFI’s temporary president and vice-president respectively, stated that the single judge’s order is based on the ground that the electoral college, who are nominees of the affiliates from various states of the AKFI, do not comply with the National Sports Development Code of India with respect to age and tenure.
Their counsel argued that the code applies only to the national federation and not to the state federations. He said none of those who have been nominated for the elections are in violation of the sport code.
The appeal sought to set aside the single judge’s August 27 interim order.
The petition before the single judge has said, “The sports Code requires sports bodies to be democratically governed by ensuring that its governing body is representative, and not a mere perpetuation of a particular person or set of persons.”
“However, the Federation, by holding elections with an electoral college comprising of various persons who are holding office in member state federations contrary to the mandate of the Sports Code beyond the maximum prescribed tenure and age, is permitting and perpetuating violation of the Sports Code,” it added.
It said the division bench of the Delhi High Court in its August last year judgement expressed grave concern at the undemocratic and illegal manner in which AKFI was controlled by members of one particular family for over three decades without any elections and by subversions of the provisions of the Constitution and in utter disregard of the sport of Kabaddi, the sportspersons and aspirants.
The high court had then quashed various illegal amendments to the Constitution of the Federation and had set aside the election of an ineligible person and had directed fresh elections after due amendments to the Constitution of AKFI to ensure compliance with the Sports Code, it said.
It claimed that the elections are being held contrary to multiple directions of the Federation itself, in which affiliated member state federations were directed to amend their constitutions to being it in consonance with the Sports Code.
The petition said that on August 16, AKFI, through the administrator, notified the draft of the electoral college which contained the same person whose election was held to be prima facie in violation of the Sports Code and whose inclusion in the electoral college in September 2018 was permitted only for the first election.