CUTTACK: Hockey India’s bid to run the affairs of hockey in Odisha through an ad hoc committee on grounds of non-compliance of guidelines by Hockey Odisha has hit a roadblock with the Orissa High Court issuing a stay order on execution of two letters sent to the State body.
The court issued the interim stay order on Hockey Odisha vice-president Umakanta Nanda’s petition on Wednesday. Nanda has challenged the letter issued by Hockey India on January 29, 2018 fixing the age limit of all the elected office-bearers and board members of each of its units to below 70 years.
He also sought quashing of the letter Hockey India (HI) had issued on March 24, 2021 to the president/general secretary of Hockey Odisha giving 30 days final notice to submit the details/comply with the requirements mentioned therein in order to continue as associate member of HI.
The single judge bench of Justice BR Sarangi said the matter requires consideration, saying, “The action taken by the Hockey India putting restriction with regard to the age limit of the members of Hockey Odisha may not have justification in view of their own by-laws and rules governing the field.
Justice Sarangi said, “As an interim measure, it is directed that there shall be stay on operation of letters dated 29.01.2018 and 24.03.2021 issued by Hockey India till August 28”. He fixed August 28 as next date while issuing notice to Hockey India and the Central government to file their responses by then.
“The fixation of 70 years age limit is applicable only to Hockey India as per the Hockey India Constitution as it speaks nothing about fixation of age limit either for the members of the associate members or any other elected members of such associate members. If the restriction has been imposed for Hockey India, that cannot be thrust upon the Hockey Odisha”, it stated.