SC allows Hockey India to hold elections

A Bench comprising Justices Altmas Kabir and A K Patnaik stayed the Bombay and the Delhi High Court orders which had restrained it from conducting elections scheduled for July 28 and posted the matter for further hearing on August 19.

The apex court allowed the holding of elections after both the Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) contended that if the elections are not held by July 31, the country would not be able to participate in any International Hockey event.

The Delhi High Court had on July 28 stayed the election process in HI following the failure of the Central government to clarify the legal position regarding HI and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).

The Bombay High Court had also stayed the HI elections for three weeks on a petition filed by Mumbai Hockey Association.

Taking strong exception to the submission made by the Joint Secretary (Sports) that both the HI and the Indian Hockey Federation were government recognised bodies, the court had said that the elections in the HI would not be allowed so long as the confusion persists.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had directed the government to dissociate itself from the HI elections as it is a private body and held that the IHF is the only recognised body for the sport in the country.

It had also asked the government to withdraw its observer appointed to monitor the HI election.

The High Court had on May 21 set aside the decision of the government and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to de-recognise the Federation.

Hockey India, which has the recognition of International Hockey Federation (FIH), has to complete its elections as stipulated by the world body by July 31, failing which India would be barred from participating in any international tournaments.

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