The Union Sports Ministry has filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court stating that it would not deal with Hockey India (HI) from now on.

The ministry, which had filed an application regarding HI elections and appointment of the Returning Officer also stated that it was looking into the aspect of dealing with a credible ad hoc body to run hockey in the interim period.

The ministry application had come in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by advocate Rahul Mehra against the National Sports Federations (NSFs). He had also made a plea regarding the now-postponed HI elections.

Elections to HI, scheduled originally for February 7, had been stayed by several courts following objections from a number of erstwhile units of the now-disaffiliated Indian Hockey Federation.

The ministry has apparently based its arguments after seeking legal opinion following the resignations of HI President A. K. Mattoo and Secretary-General Aslam Khan.

HI had drafted Mrs. Vidya Stokes and Narinder Batra in their positions from within the original registered body.

The ministry had given conditional recognition to HI in August last year up to December 31, 2010, with the stipulation that elections should be held early and in a free, fair and transparent manner.

With the World Cup round the corner, HI has been pushed into a corner by the latest developments.

FIH role

The International Hockey Federation (FIH), which had played a leading role in laying down the ground rules for the now-postponed elections, in consultation with the ministry, will hold the key once again, along with the IOA, if the Government plans to deal with another ad hoc body.

HI sources said on Wednesday that without the IOA recognition there could be no possibility of any other ad hoc body handling hockey matters. All legal remedies would also be looked into by HI, sources said.

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