Updated December 28th, 2023 at 16:52 IST
WFI chief Sanjay Singh to take suspension fight against Sports Ministry to court
"A democratically-elected body was not given a chance to explain its position which is against the principle of natural justice," said Singh.
New Delhi: Accusing the Sports Ministry of not following "proper procedure", newly-elected WFI president Sanjay Singh on Thursday said that he will move court against the Union Government's suspension order. On Sunday, the sports ministry suspended the wrestling body over flouting norms and hastily announcing U-15 and U-20 National Championships. The Indian Olympic Association was tasked with forming an ad-hoc committee to run WFI's daily operations. Centre's big move came three days after BJP heavyweight Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's close aides swept the WFI polls. Following the win, a huge controversy erupted over the manner in which the elections were conducted. While Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat returned their Padma Shris, an emotional Sakshi Malik quit wrestling.
Meanwhile, Singh claimed that the decision to suspend a newly elected body revealed the Ministry's arbitrary nature. "We have won the elections (of WFI) democratically. The returning officer was the retired chief justice of J&K High Court, there were observers from the IOA and UWW (United World Wrestling). There were 22 state units (three absent out of 25 state associations) taking part in the elections, 47 votes were polled out of which I got 40," Singh told news agency PTI, adding, "After all these, if you say we are suspended, we are not going to accept it. A democratically-elected body was not given a chance to explain its position which is against the principle of natural justice which everybody is entitled to under the Constitution of India."
Saying that he doesn't accept the ad-hoc committee, Singh told PTI, "WFI is an autonomous body and the government has not followed proper procedure. We are going to talk to the government and if it (government) does not take back the suspension, we are taking legal opinion and going to court." Singh further claimed that there was full quorum when the decisions regarding the holding of the U-15 and U-20 National events were held.
"We followed the WFI Constitution to the full. If we did something (wrong), the government should have asked for an answer from us instead of restraining us from our work. WFI is an autonomous body and we were elected in a democratic way under our (WFI) constitution", Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)
Published December 28th, 2023 at 16:52 IST