SC refuses to interfere with Punjab and Haryana HC order staying WFI polls

New Delhi, Aug 29 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the Punjab and Haryana High Court order staying the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections.

The development came days after UWW, the world governing body for wrestling, suspended the WFI for not conducting its elections on time. As a result of the global wrestling body’s decision, the country’s grapplers will not be able to compete at the upcoming World Championships under the Indian flag.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal asked the petitioner, Andhra Pradesh Amateur Wrestling Association, to approach the high court with its grievances.

“Why should we entertain this? You go to the high court… Instead of applying for vacating the interim stay, the petitioner has chosen to approach the Supreme Court. We, therefore, decline to entertain this special leave petition,” the bench said and granted the petitioner liberty to seek impleadment as a party in the high court.

The apex court also asked the high court to give necessary priority to the case, if the petitioner files a plea for impleadment.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the petitioner told the bench that WFI has now been de-recognised by United World Wrestling (UWW), a development which is an embarrassment for the country.

“The election process should not be stopped. We have no axe to grind,” the lawyer for the association said.

Attorney General R Venkataramani, appearing for the Centre, contended the petitioner has bypassed the high court and jumped directly to the top court.

The top court was hearing a plea by the Andhra Pradesh Amateur Wrestling Association against the August 11 order of the high court staying the election.

The Indian Olympic Association-appointed ad-hoc panel governing the WFI had initially scheduled the elections for July 6 but was forced to reschedule the polls to July 11 after disaffiliated state bodies from Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh approached it for a hearing, claiming their dismissal was not appropriate.

The panel heard the aggrieved representatives of the state bodies but the polls could not go ahead even on July 11, with the Gauhati High Court staying the elections after the Assam Wrestling Association (AWA) sought the right to participate in the poll process.

Source: PTI News


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