Former Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court, Anil Dev Singh, will head the Election Commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Justice Singh (retd.) comes in place of S. Y. Quraishi, who resigned as the chairman of the panel last Saturday. The appointment was made by the IOA Acting President, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, on Monday.
The other members of the panel are Justice V.K. Bali (retd.) and Justice J.D. Kapur (retd.).
No fresh schedule was announced on Monday, though it could be announced within the next day or two. The scrutiny of the nominations, scheduled last Saturday, was stalled following Quraishi’s resignation.
In naming a new chairman to fill up the vacancy caused by Quraishi’s resignation, Malhotra has ignored the contention of the IOA Secretary-General, Randhir Singh, that he (Malhotra) had exhausted his authority to name members to the election panel.
Meanwhile, in his reply to the latest communication from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Malhotra has argued that the IOA was simply following the court directives even as it was against the Sports Code of the Government of India.
The IOC had written yet another letter to Malhotra and the Election Commission members on Sunday, urging them to follow the Olympic Charter and the IOA constitution in the conduct of the elections. Giving a further twist to the controversy that is developing between the IOA and the IOC in the matter of following the Olympic Charter in the elections, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) President Ajay Singh Chautala has written a letter to the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, stating that Randhir Singh had violated the Olympic Charter.
Ajay Singh, brother of Abhay Singh Chautala, who is contesting the post of president in the IOA elections, claimed that Randhir, a member of the IOC, had approached the Union Sports Ministry on November 14 “to seek clarification on his own candidature as per the National Sports Code.”
The letter stated that since Randhir had apprehensions that being the secretary-general of the IOA “for five consecutive terms”, he may be declared ineligible for the post of president under the Sports Code, and hence sought clarification from the ministry.
He wrote that Randhir’s act clearly showed that he supported the Sports Code. Moreover, he filed his nomination for president knowing well that elections were being held as per the IOA constitution as well as the Sports Code.
“IOC may now consider this whole issue and act of Mr. Randhir Singh as violation of your instructions as well as the Olympic Charter.”
Chautala requested the IOC chief to adopt a “neutral stand”.
Meanwhile, officials of five federations — ice skating, archery, table tennis, kho kho and weightlifting — have written to the IOC President expressing concern over the role being played by Randhir and requesting him to allow the election process to continue under the appointed panel and as per the directives of the Delhi High Court.