The high-profile election of the Indian Olympic Association will now be held on December 5, ten days after its earlier scheduled date of November 25 following the resignation of Election Commission Chairman S Y Quraishi.
The elections had to be postponed in the wake of dramatic resignation of Quraishi, a former Chief Election Commissioner, citing IOA's backtracking from its earlier commitment to hold the polls under the Government's Sports Code.
The remaining two members of the Commission, Returning Officer Justice V K Bali (Retd) and Justice J D Kapoor (Retd) then postponed the scrutiny of the nomination till appointment of the new chairman of the Commission.
IOA then re-constituted the three-member Election Commission and appointed Justice Anil Dev Singh, Retired Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court, as its Chairman.
After the meeting of the re-constituted Commission attended by all the members, Justice Bali announced the rescheduled date of the elections.
According to the re-schedule of the elections released by Justice Bali, list of nomination received have been displayed at his office. The scrutiny of nominations will be held on November 24 while withdrawal of nominations will be from November 25 to 29. The elections will be held on December 5 from 1400 hrs onwards.
IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh is contesting the election against Abhay Singh Chautala for the president's post while tainted sports administrator Lalit Bhanot is contesting the post of Secretary General against Volleyball Federation of India Secretary General K Murugan and Judo Federation of India General Secretary Mukesh Kumar.
The election has witnessed a bitter war of words between the rival factions who have accused each other of trying to stall the election process to garner the required numbers.
The upcoming election is also mired in controversy with the IOC insisting it should be held under the Olympic Charter while the Election Commission has notified that it should be held under the Government's Sports Code following the Delhi High Court order.
The new Election Commission, headed by Justice (Retd) Anil Dev, said that the December 5 polls would be held under the Government's Sports Code.
"Whereas on appointment of Hon'ble Justice Anil Dev Singh ... as Chairman of Election Commission by Acting President of the IOA vide letter dated November 19, 2012, meeting of re-constituted Commission under the chairmanship of Justice Singh took place on 20.11.2012 wherein the earlier decision of the previous Election Commission of which Dr S Y Quraishi was the Chairman taken in its meeting on 03.11.2012 relating to the applicability of Sports Code of the Government of India and Constitution/Memorandum/Byelaws of IOA was agreed upon," returning office Justice (Retd) Bali said in the notification posted on the IOA website.
The Quraishi-led previous Election Commission had notified that the polls would be held under Sports Code of the government while the constitution and bye-laws of the IOA would to be used only as a supporting factor.
"wherever there are specific provisions governing the elections in Sports Code of Government of India, these will be applicable. If any provision is silent as to the process of elections, the provisions of constitution/memorandum/bye-laws of the IOA will be applicable. Whenever there is a conflict in the provisions of the Sports Code of the Government of India and constitution/memorandum/bye-laws as to the process of the elections, the provisions of the Sports Code will be applicable," Justice Bali had said.
According to the fresh election schedule drawn by the new Election Commission, the scrutiny of nominations will be done tomorrow and the list of validly nominated candidates will also be displayed tomorrow.
Withdrawal of nominations can be done from November 25 to November 29 -- the day the final list of contesting candidates will also be displayed at the office of returning officer.
The names of those who have filed nominations for the elections have been displayed at the office of Justice Bali.
"In terms of sub-clause (7) of clause 6 (Annexure XXXVII) of Sports Code of Government of India relating to 'Nomination of Candidates', list of all nominations received by me as Returning Officer post-wise prepared in Form 3 has been published and displayed at conspicuous place in my office for the information of one and all," Justice Bali said.