SC to hear AIFF challenge to HC order on Friday

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday accepted the plea put forth by the All India Football Federation to schedule an urgent hearing of its appeal challenging a recent Delhi High Court ruling that had set aside the results of AIFF elections held in December 2016 and called for the whole process to be started afresh.

The High Court had set aside the election of Praful Patel as AIFF president observing that its amended Constitution Rules were in breach of the National Sports Code and Model Guidelines.

The High Court, in its order issued on October 31, had also appointed former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi as the administrator-cum-returning officer to conduct fresh elections within five months.

“The high court had set aside the election of AIFF committee. We are seeking a stay on it (high court’s order). Under the FIFA Rules, a country is recognised only if there is an elected body and if there is no elected body, a country is derecognised by the FIFA,” PTI quotes the AIFF counsel as having told the Bench.

The counsel further argued that India’s bidding process for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2019 would be in jeopardy if the High Court order is not set aside as the last date to submit the bid was November 14.

Accepting AIFF's plea, the Bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer listed the matter for hearing on Friday. 

Patel was elected for a four-year term in last December along with the executive committee for 2017-2020, after the High Court had, as an interim measure, vacated the stay on the polls on the ground that the result would be subject to the final outcome of the issue pending before it.