New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday quashed the orders appointing Mridul Bhadauria as President and her husband Janardhan Singh Gehlot as Life President of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI). The HC ordered fresh elections within three months.
The court also appointed retired Indian Administrative Service officer Sanat Kaul as AKFI Administrator to run its affairs till further orders.
The Administrator will ensure that the AKFI electoral college is prepared and elections held in accordance with model poll guidelines within three months, the bench said.”The appointment of Respondent No. 4 as (Janardhan Singh Gehlot) Life President of the AKFI is declared illegal… election and consequent appointment of Respondent No. 5 (Bhadauria) as its President on May 19, 2013, and April 23, 2017, are also declared illegal, and accordingly quashed and set aside,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by former kabaddi player and Arjuna Awardee Mahipal Singh who alleged that the AKFI had not held any valid election for 28 years. He had challenged the appointment of former AKFI President Gahlot as Life President and his wife Mridul Bhadauria, a gynaecologist, as President.
“In 1984, Gehlot was elected as AKFI chief. Without a single election thereafter, till 2013, he continued as its President till May 19, 2013, on which date his Presidency came to an end, only to “devolve” on his wife who was not only a complete stranger to all the member units of the AKFI but was, and is, a practising gynaecologist,” the court observed.
“… Respondent No. 5 (Bhadauria) has already had two terms as AKFI President, and the petitioners assure us, she will have several more unless we choose to interfere…”
The petitioner had said that Gehlot ensured that after he ceased to be AKFI chief, his pre-eminence remained undisturbed by creating for himself the post of ‘Life President’, so as to represent the AKFI at all international sports fora.
The court directed that Kaul will substitute the AKFI chief, and shall be entitled to exercise all powers vested in the said post.