CHENNAI: In a landmark order, the Delhi High Court on Monday restraint Lt General SS Mishra and Lt General MKS Yadav from acting as president and vice-president of the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) till the next date of hearing, scheduled on September 24.
Rajasthan Equestrian Association had filed an application on July 17 accusing the EFI of violation of the National Sports Development Code for reserving key posts for Indian Army officers. Sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association were the other respondents.
The court asked all the respondents to file replies in three weeks and gave two weeks to the petitioner to file a rejoinder, if any. The petitioner also prayed that an ad-hoc committee be constituted by IOA, in consultation with the sports ministry, to run EFI till elections in conformity with the Sports Code are held.
The Rajasthan unit pleaded that Lt General Gopal R, a Quarter-Master General (QMG), was unanimously elected EFI president for four years in September 2019.
The court in its order dated September 26, 2019, allowed the elected office-bearers to assume office on an interim basis, said the application. It also filed a writ petition against EFI last year challenging the elections.
According to the application, immediately after his retirement from army on May 31, Lt Gen Gopal resigned from the post of EFI president without any justification. "Furthermore, Lt Gen Mishra, who replaced Lt Gen Gopal as new QMG was, first, inducted in EFI on 17.05.2020 and thereafter has instantly been recommended for appointment as the president of EFI on 22.06.2020. In fact, Mishra has already taken charge as the President of EFI," claimed the petitioner.
"The only thing we want is EFI complying with the Sports Code. All issues will be resolved once the federation becomes compliant to the code," Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod, president of Rajasthan Equestrian Association, told this daily.
EFI secretary-general Colonel Jaiveer Singh was unavailable for comments on the issue. The same was the case with Thakur, who was appointed vice-president (admin) of EFI vide elections held in 2019 and his tenure ran till 2021. But he resigned immediately upon his retirement from the post of Director-General, Supplies & Transport in the Indian Army, read the application. With Thakur's resignation, the incoming Director-General, Supplies & Transport in the Indian Army, Lt Gen MKS Yadav has been appointed interim vice-president (Admin.) of EFI, the application added.
The petitioner said it is not the first time that the president and other senior office-bearers of EFI have resigned from their posts simultaneously with their retirement from the Indian Army.