HC stops Volleyball Federation of India’s election over irregularities

Ranchi: Delhi High Court has intervened in the election process of the Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) citing significant irregularities and non-compliance with the National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI). The court particularly highlighted breaches in crucial clauses regarding age and tenure restrictions, as well as the inclusion of eminent sportspersons in sports bodies from the district level to the national level, including in Jharkhand.

The High Court’s decision to stay the election comes as a response to VFI’s failure to adhere to the court’s order from August 16, 2022, and its violation of the National Sports Code. The list of disputed state units involved in the election process has been uploaded on the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) website. These states include Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Haryana, Odisha, Goa, Puducherry, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Tripura.

The court order also criticized the ad-hoc committee appointed by VFI, stating that no steps had been taken to ensure that district associations and state associations complied with the Sports Code or the court’s previous judgment.

Retired Judge P Krishna Bhat, the election’s RO, ordered a halt to the election after the High Court’s order. The RO had already ordered the election to be place at the Sports Authority of India (SAI), TEAMS Division, JN Stadium.

The court suit filed by former India international and Arjuna Awardee Amir Singh through sports lawyer Rahul Mehra raised the issue of players not having voting rights. Outstanding athletes should have voting rights in the broader body, the court said.

The election was postponed until a March 21 hearing. The respondents must provide a plan within two weeks to comply with the court’s previous order and the Sports Code.

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