HC seeks responses from Centre on PIL against badminton body

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought responses from the Centre and others including the Badminton Association of India (BAI) on a PIL alleging "arbitrariness" in holding of election of office bearers of the sports body.

A bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw also issued notices to recently-elected BAI President Akhilesh Das Gupta, General Secretary Vijay Sinha and the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

It was hearing the plea of former international power lifter Maj (Dr) Surendra Poonia filed through his lawyer Shailendra Singh on the issue.

"Issue an appropriate writ in the nature of mandamus... declaring that the BAI election, held on January 25, 2014 is unfair, arbitrary, without any rationale and against the BAI rules and other applicable laws and, is thus, per se void and invalid in law, and direct for the fresh election," the plea said.

It also sought setting aside of amendments made in 2013 in the the rules of BAI Memorandum by the sports body.

"Rule 12 of the BAI memorandum was amended in Special General Meeting held at New Delhi on April 27, 2013 which provides that, `only the outgoing office bearers or member of outgoing executing committee shall be eligible to contest the election for the post of president`, and similar provision was introduced for election of General Secretary.

"It is pertinent to mention here that, under the original provision these posts are open for outsiders also. Therefore, the amendment is arbitrary and illegal and with the sole purpose to retain their posts," it said.

The petitioner alleged that the BAI President has taken over the functions of the treasurer and is operating the bank account while the treasurer has not signed a single cheque in the past four years.

He claimed that out of six zones, some are over represented while others do not have even a single office bearer.

"Therefore, BAI has lost its democratic structure and it is a result of unfair pre-managed election," the plea said.

"The political and personal interests" of the present office bearers have taken over the interests of BAI, it said.

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