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Wrestling

Supreme Courts ask Returning Officer to restart the process of WFI elections

SC has set aside the stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the elections of the Wrestling Federation of India.

Supreme Courts ask Returning Officer to restart the process of WFI elections
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Logo for the Wrestling Federation of India

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 Nov 2023 12:06 PM GMT

The Supreme Court of India has set aside the stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the holding of elections to the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Tuesday.

The bench of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal has asked the returning officer to proceed with the election with a revised programme. The bench also mentioned that it failed to understand how the entire process of the election could have been set at nought by the high court.

"Pending a writ petition filed by the Haryana Wrestling Association, by an interim order the high court has stayed the election of WFI. We fail to understand how the entire process of the election could have been set at naught by HC. The proper course would have been to allow the election to be conducted and make the election subject to the outcome of the pending writ petition," said the bench.

"Accordingly, the impugned order granting interim relief is set aside. It will be open for returning officers to proceed with the election by publishing a revised election program. We make it clear that the outcome of the election will be subject to orders that may be passed in the petition," the bench said.

The top court had earlier sought the response of the Indian government and other stakeholders on a plea by the ad-hoc committee, constituted to run the WFI, challenging a stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on holding elections to the wrestling body.

The initial elections scheduled for July 6 were postponed after disqualified bodies from Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh approached the panel for a hearing.

After the hearing, the elections were delayed further as the Gauhati High Court stayed the elections hearing a petition from the Assam Wrestling Federation.

Observing the delay in elections, United World Wrestling (UWW) decided to ban the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on the grounds of improper administration forcing the Indian wrestlers to play as neutral athletes in international tournaments.

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