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Court appointed administrator to take over BFI affairs
On May 2nd, the Delhi High Court pronounced its judgment on the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) elections matter.
In a 77-page verdict, single judge Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav declared the rejected nominations forms, as 'valid' and allowed for the resumption of the election process. In other words, the election process "will continue from the stage of submission of nomination forms after treating the rejected nomination forms as valid." (emphasis added)
The court noted numerous questionable aspects in the previous election process such as "non-selection of a neutral place for conducting the election, belated communication of AGM meeting of election to the Government of India in order to allow it to timely appoint its representative for observing the elections as per Sports Code, non-inclusion of names of some of the members in the electoral college compelling them to approach this court....rejection of en bloc nomination forms of petitioners on a singular ground, virtually reducing the election to a non-contested one...etc."
Significantly, a retired judge - P Krishna Bhat - former judge of the Karnataka High Court - was appointed administrator of BFI with immediate effect. The administrator has been tasked with conducting the BFI elections "at the earliest". Until then, the administrator will manage BFI affairs with the assistance and cooperation of the Government of India, Sports Ministry and BFI.
Interestingly, the administrator is at liberty to decide if the present Returning Officer (i.e. Election Officer) should continue (or be replaced by a new RO). This is despite the fact that it was the present RO's controversial (and now legally set-aside) decision to reject nomination forms en bloc that had led to this writ petition being filed in the first case.
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