Thursday, February 29, 2024

Delhi High Court stays election of Gymnastics Federation of India

The High Court of Delhi has stayed the election of office bearers and members of the executive committee of Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) till October 12.

The single-judge Bench of Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav on Wednesday directed the sports body not to conduct any fresh election till the next date of hearing on October 12.

The High Court further stayed the impugned notice dated September 7, 2022 regarding the election of office bearers and members of the executive committee of respondent no. 2 (GFI), expressing ‘serious doubt’ over compliance of the mandate of the Sports Code and the directions passed by the Court. 

The single-judge Bench passed the order on a petition filed by Padmaja Garikipati, who argued that the proposed polling on September 29 would be in violation of the binding directions passed by the High Court on various occasions with respect to strict compliance with the Sports Code.

The petitioner contended that she was an ophthalmologist and has been the coach-cum-manager of her gymnast daughter for national and international competitions.

Opposing the plea, the GIF contended that the court’s earlier directions have been complied with in their letter and spirit but some of them were not applicable to NSFs like itself, and the issue was already pending in the Supreme Court.

The Union government supported the submissions of GFI and said the Returning Officer, a former judge of the High Court of Madras, has exhaustively considered all relevant aspects and has come to the conclusion that there was no impediment in conducting the election.

On September 27, the Apex Court had refused to entertain the GFI’s petition and asked it to approach the Delhi High Court for reliefs pertaining to the elections.

Earlier on September 1, the High Court had taken note of the submissions made by Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, who had filed a PIL in 2010 seeking reforms in sports bodies, that elections to various sports associations were held in violation of its 2022 judgement.


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