Anil Dev to head IOA panel

Retired Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court Anil Dev Singh was appointed on Monday to head the three-member election commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for their upcoming polls.

Justice Singh’s appointment was made by IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra to fill in the spot left vacant by the resignation of S Y Quraishi on Saturday. Other members of the commission continue to be Justice (retd)  V K Bali, who is also the returning officer, and Justice (retd) JD Kapur.

Meanwhile, Malhotra replied to International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) latest letter that reiterated the elections should be held as per the Olympic Charter and IOA constitution.  Malhotra wrote about the “piquant” situation faced by them, starting: “We are at the cross roads, we find all three — Sports Code, IOC insistence and High Court directive — are at variance with each other.

“We respect the IOC charter, are fully committed to the autonomy of the IOA and NSFs and are also against the sports code of the Government, but we cannot go against the directives of the court of the land.”

Also, five federations — Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), Kho-Kho Federation of India (KKFI), Ice-Skating Association of India, the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) and the Archery Association  of India (AAI) — have written to the IOC President Jacques Rogge explaining him the poll process and also alleging that IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh was attempting to stall it. All the five federations have asked the IOC to allow the election process to continue as per the directives of the Delhi High Court.

TTFI President Ajay Singh Chautala, who is the brother of IOA presidential candidate Abhay Sigh Chautala, wrote that Randhir, who is also an IOC member and fighting for the president’s post, had violated the IOC charter by approaching the government on November 14 to seek clarity on his candidature according to the National Sports Code.

“Since he had a fear that being the general-secretary of IOA for five consecutive terms, he may be declared ineligible for the post of President. This act of Mr Randhir Singh clearly states that he believes and supports the National Sports Code formulated by the Government of India,” Chautala wrote.

“Secondly, he filed his nomination for the post of President IOA knowing well that elections are being held as per the IOA Constitution and National Sports Code, wherever it is applicable in case of elections.”

The Ice Skating Association of India President Bhavnesh Banga stated that Randhir was managing letters from IOC to delay his imminent defeat.

“Now, when he knows that he is going to lose the election, he is managing the letter from the IOC that election should be conducted as per the IOA Constitution and the IOC Charter but not as per the National Sports Code,” Banga wrote.

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