New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday set aside the Centre`s 2008 order to dissolve Indian Hockey Federation. The court also slapped Rs 10,000 fine on both the Centre and the Indian Olympic Association over the issue.
The Delhi High Court decision came after secretary K Jothikumaran was caught on camera in a sting operation accepting bribe to select a player.
Justice S Murldihar set aside the Centre`s decision to de-recognise IHF and the Indian Olympic Association`s (IOA) de-affiliation of the hockey federation after the sting operation was aired by a news channel.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by KPS Gill who had been heading the Federation at the time.
The court also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 each on the Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs and Indian Olympic Association.
The Centre had dissolved the KPS Gill led hockey federation immediately after the national team could not even qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The other reason that was propounded was the repeated claims of players about the body being biased.
An interim-body, Hockey India, with AK Matto at the helm was set up instead. However, things got out of control after the national team revolted for not being paid the fees for a long time - An issue which the Matto led team blamed former IHF chief KPS Gill for before his resignation was tendered too.
The decision has come as a blow to Hockey India, who are yet to have their elections. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) had given them the deadline of 31st May to conduct the elections. But Vidya Stokes, President of Hockey India, said that it is not possible to organize the elections before June.
This could also result in Hockey India losing its FIH membership.
Many State bodies were not ready to accept Hockey India after its formation but had to give-in to the pressure as India’s hosts’ status for the World Cup earlier this year was in jeopardy in the absence of a democratic elected body due to an International Hockey Federation (FIH) ruling.