CHENNAI: The fight within the Indian Olympic Association is only getting worse, especially after the Delhi High Court order on Hockey India's violation of sports code and subsequent appointment of Committee of Administrators. Even though Narinder Batra claimed that he continues to be the president, senior vice president Anil Khanna citing court order said that Batra's tenure has come to end with immediate effect from May 25, 2022. Khanna is siding with secretary general Rajeev Mehta and treasurer Anandeshwar Pandey.
In an e-mail written to the IOA members, Khanna said the order pronounced by the court on Wednesday on a petition filed by hockey Olympian Aslam Sher Khan. Mentioning a paragraph from the order, which reads, 'The illegal post of Life President or Life Member cannot be the stepping stone for any other position or benefit elsewhere, be it nationally (including in the Indian Olympic Association) or in international bodies', he said R-2 is Narinder Batra.
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Batra had in a message to IOA members claimed that he is not holding the position of IOA president by virtue of him being a Life Member of the Hockey India.
Calling it an incorrect statement, Khanna wrote, "As per IOA Constitution and Election Bye-Laws, representatives nominated by each voting unit must be members of the Executive Bodies of such units to be part of the Electoral College. Mr. Batra was part of the Electoral College in 2017 and his name appeared in S.No 43 of the Electoral College. In 2017, Mr. Batra ceased to be President of Hockey India and was not a member of the Executive Committee of Hockey India. Mr. Batra was a Life Member of Hockey India as per para 18.104.22.168 of Hockey India Constitution and it was in this capacity as Life Member of Hockey India, that his name was included in the Electoral College of Indian Olympic Association."
He also claimed that the vacancy has to be filled as per clause 16.2 of the IOA constitution which says that in the absence of the President, one of the Senior Vice-Presidents approved by the Executive Council shall preside over the meetings. "Currently, there are only two Senior Vice-Presidents of IOA. My esteemed and respected colleague, Sh. RK Anand who represents a State Olympic Association, is past the age of 70."
However, senior IOA officials felt it was not correct for Khanna to assume office without the EC's consent. According to its constitution, senior VP or another person through an EC meeting can assume office. Another issue for Batra faction is that if Khanna, Mehta and Pandey head IOA (as office bearers), then they would have an advantage while dealing with HI CoA also. And apparently, Khanna had words with the IOA officials and directed them to communicate with him regarding IOA matters.