Bharat Singh Chauhan, whose election as Secretary of the All India Chess Federation was stayed by the Delhi High Court, has now been permitted by the Supreme Court to continue discharging his duties till August 15 as Olympiad Tournament Director.
A vacation bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice M.R. Shah said the country is about to host the 44th World Chess Olympiad from July 2 to August 10 and taking this into consideration, they will allow Chauhan to continue till August 15.
The Top Court has also directed the Delhi High Court to finally decide the matter and said, “For us, national interest is first and then comes everything else.”
The petitioner was represented by Senior Advocate Maninder Singh who said the High Court did not give due consideration to the fact that the federation is organising an international event next month which shall be attended by PM Narendra Modi too.
If the secretary of the federation is not there, it will paint a bad picture of the country before the international media.
The plea was opposed by the respondent who claimed that, “As per the National sports development code, no person can hold the post of President/Secretary/Treasurer continuously for more than two turns.”
He further said that as per the policy, for re-election an office-bearer should get 2/3rd of the votes by the members of the National Federation concerned. The respondents also mentioned that during 2020-2023, Chauhan got 35 votes, which is not 2/3 of the total votes polled.
The Division Bench of the High Court will be passing a fresh order which shall give an opportunity to others for being considered for the post.
The order has mentioned that as India is holding the chess Olympiad in the country (August 2022) the appellant can for the time being continue with his position till August 15.
The court said “such continuance will be without prejudice to the rights and contention of parties”.