Ashiwni Nachappa tells IOC, IOA elections could be challenged in court

Calling on the International Olympic Committee to stop Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot from being part of the IOA's Electoral College, Clean Sports India (CSI) has told the IOC that given the "anomalies", the polls could end up being challenged in courts here.

New Delhi: In a letter to IOC Director Pere Miro, CSI, an organisation which is fighting corruption in sports, said there are "certain apparent anomalies" in the polls to be conducted on Sunday.

"We are given to understand that the Returning Officer has not collected all the nomination forms directly from the contesting candidates or their representatives. It is being alleged that few powerful people collected signed nominations forms from various contesting candidates and handed over them to Returning Officer after adjusting candidates of respective groups," CSI President Ashiwni Nachappa said in the letter.

"This is not a transparent way of genuine nomination process in free and fair election process. Every person in the Electoral College should have the right to contest without fear and in open process.

"In this context, please enquire from the Returning Officer about process he adopted in collection of Nomination Forms from all the contesting candidates. You can also ask some other members of Electoral College whose forms seems have been collected by some people but not reached the Returning Officer," she added.

Chautala and Bhanot have been both barred from contesting polls but they are nonetheless part of the Electoral College and have voting rights. While Chautala is representing the Athletics Federation of India, Bhanot will be representing the Delhi Olympic Association. "According to amended constitution of IOA, any person charged with an offense should not contest elections. But the names of Mr Abhay Chautala and Mr Bhanot, who are charged by the courts, are still on the Electoral College," she pointed out.

"You should look in to a question whether such persons can remain in the list of Electoral College to participate in election process,"Nachappa added.

Nachappa also pointed out that S Regunathan, Chairman of Special General Meeting of Requisitionists to amend the Constitution of IOA, was not authorised to issue the notice for election as it was sole prerogative of IOA President V K Malhotra.

"On the fundamental legal issue of issuing of notice for election process, there seems to be serious irregularity. IOC has asked Mr V K Malhotra, the President of suspended IOA to conduct elections. But the election notice and subsequent correspondence was done by Mr S Regunathan, in his capacity as the Chairman of Special General Meeting of Requisitionists to amend the Constitution of IOA," she explained.

"...Mr Regunathan has no authority to issue this election notice as he was elected Chairman of a meeting specifically called to amend the constitution of IOA. So he has no authority to call for elections. IOC seems to have overlooked this legal aspect when you had given go-ahead for this election process," she added.

"As you are aware there are cases pending on the whole issue of IOA in Delhi High Court. Any irregularity in election process will be taken seriously by Indian Courts. We sincerely hope that Indian sportspersons do not suffer any longer with any litigation that may lead to disqualification of this election process."

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