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    Delhi High Court refuses to stay IOA elections

    New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to stay the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) elections scheduled for December 5. Refusing to stay the election, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw decided to hear on December 17 a plea to restrain IOA from holding the polls on the alleged ground that it was not following the national sports code in conducting it.

    Advocate Rahul Mehra had sought the stay on the election alleging S Y Quraishi, the chairman of the three-member poll panel, had resigned from the post saying the IOA had failed to follow the stipulated guidelines, so the election should be stayed.

    The election was scheduled to be held earlier on November 25 but after Quraishis resignation it was postponed to December 5. Mehra submitted that Quraishi in his resignation letter had said "he is quitting the commission because he wants IOA elections to be held under the Sports Code of the Government of India."

    The court earlier had directed the association to hold the election as per the sports code.

    Mehra, in his application, has also sought the court's directions to the Centre to de-recognise the IOA and create an ad-hoc committee comprising elite and eminent sportspersons and former Olympic medal winners for the conduct of day-to-day affairs till fresh elections.

    In his plea, Mehra said, "Direct Union of India to de-recognise IOA and create an ad-hoc committee comprising of elite and eminent sportspersons and former Olympic medal winners such as Rajyavardhan Rathore, Abhinav Bindra, Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom, Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh etc.

    The plea also sought the court's direction "to authorise them to be in charge of and responsible for the conduct of day-to-day affairs of the management of the IOA till holding of fresh elections for the various offices of IOA under government's direct supervision."

    The plea also sought direction to ad-hoc panel to "comply with the provisions of the 'Model Election Guidelines' and various other provisions of the Sports Code." The application asking the court to direct the Centre to withdraw the IOA's recognition as well as financial assistance and other benefits given to it.

    After Quraishis resignation, IOA had appointed Anil Dev Singh, retired Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court, as the head of its three-member election commission.