WFI elections: RO to meet ad-hoc panel members on Thursday

"I am attending a meeting with the ad-hoc committee members at the IOA Bhavan on Thursday afternoon.
The logo of Wrestling Federation of India, used for representative purposes only. (Photo | Twitter)
The logo of Wrestling Federation of India, used for representative purposes only. (Photo | Twitter)

CHENNAI: Returning officer MM Kumar, retired Chief Justice of the J&K High Court, and members of the ad-hoc committee looking after wrestling in the country, will meet at the IOA Bhavan, New Delhi, on Thursday. The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the elections of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and asked the RO to publish a revised schedule of the elections.

"I am attending a meeting with the ad-hoc committee members at the IOA Bhavan on Thursday afternoon. Nothing more can be said at the moment as I haven't received the order of the Supreme Court yet," the RO told this daily. Ad-hoc panel member Bhupender SIngh Bajwa hoped they would receive a copy of the order by Thursday to help them chalk the future course of action. "The meeting is called to decide on the WFI elections. The RO has to go through to the order before coming up with the revised schedule. Hopefully, we get the copy of the order so that we can announce the schedule," Bajwa told this daily.

Neither the RO nor Bajwa was able to tell whether the election process will start from where it was stopped after the stay or whether it will have to start all over again. A bench of justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal on Tuesday reportedly expressed strong reservations on the stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and said it failed to understand how the entire process of the election could have been set at naught by the High Court.

"Pending a writ petition filed by the Haryana Wrestling Association, by an interim order the High Court has stayed the election of WFI. We fail to understand how the entire process of the election could have been set at naught by HC. The proper course would have been to allow the election to be conducted and make the election subject to the outcome of the pending writ petition. Accordingly, the impugned order granting interim relief is set aside," the court has observed.

The WFI elections had been postponed thrice so far. The returning officer had first set July 6 as the election date before revising it to July 11. But the Assam association moved the Gauhati High Court and managed to get a stay on the July 11 polls on June 25. After the stay was vacated, the RO set August 12 as the polling date but P&H High Court stayed the elections a day before to stall the process for the third time.

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