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Delhi High Court asks sports ministry to respond to Wrestling Federation of India's plea challenging suspension
4/9/2024 10:37:46 PM
Agencies
NEW DELHI, Apr 9: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the Centre's response on a plea by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) challenging its suspension. Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notice to the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and asked it to file its reply to the petition within four weeks. The high court listed the matter for further hearing on May 28.
The Centre had suspended WFI on December 24, 2023, three days after it elected new office bearers, for allegedly not following the provisions of its own constitution while taking decisions
Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, representing WFI, submitted that no show cause notice was issued to the federation before taking the decision to indefinitely suspend it.
He said the ministry's decision violates the constitutional provisions of WFI as well as the National Sports Code which contemplates issuance of show cause notice before such action and added that this was against the principles of natural justice.
While suspending the WFI, the government had cited its "hasty announcement" of organising the U-15 and U-20 nationals "without following due procedure and not giving sufficient notice to wrestlers" for preparations.
The ministry felt the new WFI body was working under the complete control of its former office-bearers, which was not in conformity with the National Sports Code.
The union sports ministry had suspended the Wrestling Federation of India in December 2023. Sanjay Singh, a close associate of multiple-term BJP Lok Sabha MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who got embroiled in a sexual harassment case following a complaint by women wrestlers, had succeeded him to the post.
A coordinate bench of the high court is scheduled to hear on Wednesday a plea by four wrestlers including Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Bajrang Punia seeking directions to the ministry to not revoke WFI's suspension and appoint a one-man committee to take over the federation's management and administration.
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