Delhi HC order details anomalies in AIFF’s constitution

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court ruling setting aside the election of All India Football Federation president Praful Patel has been categorical in declaring that the AIFF constitution, as it stands currently, is in breach of the National Sports Code and Model Guidelines, .

Patel was elected to a third four-year term 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 could be subject to the final outcome of the issue pending before it.

The detailed order, which was pronounced on October 31, was made available on the court’s website Monday and makes some damning observations.

“The court is of the view that insofar as the Rules of the AIFF are in breach of the National Sports Code and the Model Guidelines for the conduct of elections, the results of the elections of the AIFF declared on December 21, 2016 would have to be set aside,” the Bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Nazmi Waziri said.

“Elections shall be held in six weeks after preparation of the electoral college. This elected body shall carry out the requisite amendments to the AIFF Constitution to bring it in conformity with the National Sports Code.

“Once the AIFF Constitution has been amended, a fresh round of elections shall be carried out in terms of the National Sports Code, to ensure that age and tenure restrictions, along with the provision for due representation of the sports persons, are strictly complied with,” the Bench ruled.

The AIFF’s application was filed in a pending petition of advocate Rahul Mehra contending that the elections of the federation were held contrary to the National Sports Code, PTI reports.

Mehra had contended that while the Sports Code made it mandatory for each candidate to be nominated by a member association and seconded by another, the AIFF had stipulated that each candidate was to be nominated by five member associations.

On this, the Bewnch ruled the nominations would be required to be proposed and seconded by one member association each and with clear notice, as required by the Model Election Guidelines read with the AIFF rules.

The court has appointed former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi as the administrator-cum-returning officer to conduct the fresh polls.

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