SC Refuses to Interfere with Delhi HC Order to Constitute COA for Managing Hockey India

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the order of the Delhi High Court to form a three-member committee of administrators to manage the affairs of Hockey India till its constitution is amended and elections are held in accordance with the National Sports Code.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and JB Pardiwala asked the Committee of Administrators (CoA) headed by former top court judge AR Dave to make efforts to expeditiously prepare the draft constitution so the newly elected executive committee could start its work and make logistical arrangements for the upcoming Men’s Hockey World Cup scheduled to be held in January, 2023 in Bhubaneswar.

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The top court also took note of the FIR the CBI has filed against the top office bearers of Hockey India over alleged corruption.

Besides Justice Dave, the other members of the COA are former chief election commissioner SY Qureshi and former Indian Hockey team captain Zafar Iqbal.

The bench said, “We don’t find any reason to interfere with the orders of the High Court”.

It also asked the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Asian Hockey Federation to cooperate with the COA to align the constitution of the Hockey India with the National Sports Code.

During the hearing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and Amit Sibal, appearing for Rajinder Singh, the elected secretary general of Hockey India, said the constitution of the sport’s body has been amended and post of life-time members abolished.

Senior advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, appearing for former India hockey player Aslam Sher Khan, said the high court order was correct and does not require to be interfered with.

The Delhi High Court had on May 25 directed the CoA to hold elections to the executive committee of Hockey India as per the new constitution and hand over the affairs to the newly elected body within 20 weeks.

The High Court order had come on a plea of Aslam Sher Khan and others who challenged the appointment of Narendra Batra as life-member of Hockey India.

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