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Supreme Court Rejects Plea Challenging Stay on Wrestling Federation of India Elections, UWW Suspends WFI

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      29 August, 2023 04:36 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court Rejects Plea Challenging Stay on Wrestling Federation of India Elections, UWW Suspends WFI

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to interfere with the Punjab and Haryana High Court order, which stayed the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal asked the petitioner, Andhra Pradesh Amateur Wrestling Association to approach the high court with its grievances.

“Why should we entertain this? You go to the high court…Instead of applying for vacating the interim stay, the petitioner has chosen to approach the Supreme Court. We, therefore, decline to entertain this special leave petition,” the bench said.

The top court was hearing a plea by the Andhra Pradesh Amateur Wrestling Association against the August 11 order of the high court.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had on August 11 stayed the much-anticipated Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections till further orders following a petition filed by the Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA).

Meanwhile, on August 28, the Punjab and Haryana High Court  extended the stay on Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections till September 25.

The WFI elections were supposed to be held on August 12.

However, acting on a petition filed by Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA), the HC had on August 11stayed the polls.

On August 24, United World Wrestling (UWW), the world governing body for wrestling, suspended the WFI for not conducting its elections on time, as a result of which Indian grapplers won’t be able to compete at next month’s World Championship under national flag.

The Indian wrestlers will have to compete as ‘neutral athletes’ at the Olympic-qualifying World Championships, starting September 16, according to experts.

The HWA, headed by Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda, had challenged the move in the high court. The HAWA had contended that it was affiliated to WFI and thus eligible to vote.

The Deepender Hooda-led body, however, had challenged it saying saying HAWA may be affiliated with the WFI but it is not affiliated with the Haryana Olympic Association, meaning “it is not entitled to participate in the poll process”.

Taking note of the contentions, the court held that “prima facie, it seems that the HAWA is not eligible to cast votes” and stayed the WFI elections.

The Indian Olympic Association-appointed ad-hoc panel governing the WFI had initially scheduled the elections for July 6 but was forced to reschedule the polls to July 11 after disaffiliated state bodies from Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh approached it for a hearing, claiming that their dismissal was not appropriate.

The panel heard the aggrieved representatives of the state bodies but the polls could not go ahead even on July 11 with the Gauhati High Court staying the elections after the Assam Wrestling Association (AWA) sought the right to participate in the poll process.



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