HC relief for Govindaraj-led faction of BFI

The Basketball Federation of India (BFI), led by K Govindaraj, heaved a sigh of relief after Karnataka High Court stayed the Sports Ministry’s letter that had put hold on any official basketball event to be held in the country.

The single bench verdict, chaired by Justice A S Bopanna, on Thursday stated: “There shall be interim stay of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India letter dated 12th June 2015.”

Though FIBA, which has recognised the Govindaraj-led faction as the official body to run the game in the country, had permitted India to host the South Asian Basketball Championship (SABC), the Sports Ministry in a letter dated June 12 asked the federation to not to conduct any official event.

“FIBA wrote to us on June 5 allowing us to host the SABC in July. But the Ministry, probably to safeguard the rival faction’s interest, on June 12, directed us not to conduct any official event,” alleged Chander Mukhi Sharma, Secretary, BFI.

“Though we met the Sports Minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) on June 16 and put forward the issue, nothing fruitful seemed to have come out of it,” he added.

Though the minister had directed the Govindaraj faction to meet the rival team to resolve the issue, Sharma said that Poonam Mahajan, who heads the rival faction, was yet to reply to their request to hold a meeting. “Following the minister’s request, I had written to them twice in the past, but they are yet to reply,” he said.

The South Asian meet is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru from July 3-5.

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