A division bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Najmi Waziri, responding to a review petition, empowered the All India Carrom Federation (AICF), elected on November 29, 2015, to function and recalled the earlier order that resulted in the setting up of an ad-hoc committee to govern the game.
“We are inclined to stay the operation of the orders dated 4.2.2016 and 8.2.2016 issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports till the learned Single Judge takes up either the hearing of the stay application and/or the writ petition itself,” the order said.
The Union government was directed to take corrective steps and issue Railway concession forms, etc. and “upload on relevant websites the results” of the election held in Guwahati in November 2015, “and pass orders in recognition of the appellant federation and its office bearers.”
The judges were categorical that the government orders did not give a chance for the appellant, represented by V.D. Narayan, to explain, “and appear to have been issued in breach of the principles of natural justice”.
“There was no tearing hurry on the part of the Government for not issuing a show cause notice, or not to give the opportunity of hearing to the appellant to explain its position before issuing a precipitate and final order on 4.2.2016,” the order read.
The communications from the government were explained by the judges as, “ prima facie, appear to have put the cart before the horse”.
The judges also dismissed the argument of the respondents that the president of the AICF, Rakibul Hussain, had engineered the letter from the International Carrom Federation (ICF) that refused to recognise the ad hoc committee.
“It cannot be assumed that Mr. Hussain is all powerful and has manipulated the issuance of the said communication.
“Such allegations against him cannot be sustained since he is not even a party before this court.
“There is no reason to assume that the ICF is being run by one individual,” the order stated.
The judges recalled the order of appointment of the ad hoc committee, by observing that “the formation of the said ad-hoc committee does not address the concern so far as the participation of Indian sportsmen at international events is concerned.”
In a nutshell, the court stressed, “we are of the view that the ad-hoc committee appointed by this court on 29.05.2017 has not addressed the concerns of the sport of Carrom in India and in the international arena”.