The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to stay an order which had directed Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra to step down from his post.
“No, we are not staying it. Only on a technical issue, we have issued a notice,” a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said while issuing notices to the respondents, the Centre, and petitioner, former hockey player Aslam Sher Khan.
The bench was hearing the appeal moved by Batra challenging the June 24 order, in which he was restrained from holding the post of IOA President.
Shyel Trehan, who appeared on behalf of Batra, was seeking a stay on the order passed by a vacation bench of Justice Dinesh Sharma.
Further hearing in the matter will be on July 26.
In the order, Justice Sharma said: “The respondent no. 1/proposed contemnor (Batra) is restrained to further discharge any function as President, IOA. In view of the communication dated June 3, 2022, Anil Khanna, Senior Vice President will take over the duties and responsibilities of the President. The Senior Vice President shall also perform any other tasks/ functions as directed by the President, the Executive Council, or the General Meeting.”
“This court considers that the functioning of Sports Federation should be above any kind of doubt,” he had said.
Khan, who was a part of the World Cup-winning India team of 1975, had approached the court with a contempt petition against Batra, followinge non-compliance of an earlier court order on Khan’s plea seeking to quash certain articles of the Hockey India MOA whereby the posts of ‘Life Member’, ‘CEO’ and ‘Life President’ have been created, in blatant contravention of the NSCI, Circular 1975 and 2001 Guidelines.
In one of the last hearings, the court had observed: “What a paradox, to make oneself permanent in an entity whose tenure itself is impermanent. The illegal Post of Life President or Life Member cannot be the stepping-stone for any other position or benefit elsewhere, be it nationally (including in the Indian Olympic Association) or in international bodies. If R-3 (Batra) has so benefitted, then such benefit or position shall end right away. Let the CoA look into the matter, so would the Government of India.”