NEW DELHI: Nearly two months after tragedy struck the Rally of Jodhpur, killing three people, the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India (FMSCI) has reportedly banned its own president from officiating in races for three years.
One of the reported recommendations of the five-member FMSCI panel constituted to look into the case was that the Clerk of the Course (CoC) of the event be banned from officiating for three years. It so happens that FMSCI president J Prithviraj was occupying the post at the event. Other reported disciplinary measures include banning Coimbatore Auto Sports Club — of which Prithviraj is a part of — from holding rallies outside Coimbatore for the same period. Maxperience, organisers of the event, and its representative Aravind Balan has also reportedly been banned for three years.
Prithviraj, when contacted, said that he was unaware of any official decision being publicised by the FMSCI. “No official decision has been made yet. The FMSCI will issue a press release in due course,” he said. Other FMSCI officials also declined to comment.
The FMSCI had come up with an investigation report into the incident which had recommended several safety measures for rallies in the future. “While it was an internal analysis conducted by the FMSCI, the council came out with certain decisions with a clear thinking on what should be done for the betterment of the sport. Consequently, at all rallies the following points listed out must be followed without fail, though most points may already be in current practice,” the report said. The recommendations in it included the appointment of a safety officer and legal representative, translation of all permissions into English and their proper display on a notice board and cancelling of the stage if any of the observers encounter traffic on the route.
The Rally of Jodhpur, in late September, had been called off just after the start of the first stage, after multiple-time national champion Gaurav Gill’s vehicle had struck three people on a bike, killing them instantly. FMSCI officials had later stated that the family had been prevented from going on the track by marshalls but had fought with them and trespassed anyway. Gill, as well as FMSCI, the organisers and sponsors, had been booked for the incident and the Arjuna Awardee had only got bail last month.