SC lifts Gauhati HC's stay on Wrestling Federation electionstext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the direction passed by the Gauhati High Court freezing the election proceedings of the Executive Committee of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
A bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and S.V. Bhatti issued notices to the Union Sports Ministry, Wrestling Federation of India, Assam Wrestling Association, and Assam Olympic Association's President, Ritual Sharma in a plea filed by Andhra Pradesh Amateur Wrestling Association challenging the direction issued by the Gauhati High Court.
The elections to the WFI were originally scheduled for July 11. The High Court on June 25 stayed the proceedings for election of the Executive Committee of WFI on the plea filed by the Assam Wrestling Association.
The plea sought a direction to the WFI to treat Assam Wrestling Association as an affiliated member of WFI.
The north-eastern state association contended that the recommendation to affiliate Assam Wrestling Association as a member, made by the Executive Committee of WFI in November 2014 under the Chairmanship of then President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has not been acted upon so far.
As a consequence, the wrestlers of the State of Assam will be deprived of participation in any national tournaments organised by the WFI and also the State will be deprived of its representatives to take part in the election of the Executive Committee of the WFI, it had told the high court.
"On consideration of the contentions raised by the petitioners ..till the next date fixed, respondents are hereby directed not to proceed with the election of the Executive Committee of the WFI," the high court had ordered in the matter.
The federation is facing elections after a 40-day protest at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar by India’s top wrestlers against the lack of police action regarding serious allegations of sexual harassment against its chief, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Union sports minister Anurag Thakur had assured the protesting wrestlers that fresh elections will be held to choose new leadership for the federation, which Brij Bhushan headed for 12 years.
Both Brij Bhushan and his assistant secretary, Vinod Tomar, have been embroiled in allegations of widespread misconduct.
The United World Wrestling (UWW), the international governing body for amateur wrestling, had earlier said that failure to uphold the deadline for election to the WFI “may lead UWW to suspend the federation, thereby forcing the athletes to compete under a neutral flag.”