By JIT Mukherjii
New Delhi, May 22nd: Hockey India (HI) and the court reinstated Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) have interpreted the Delhi High Court order to suit their line of thinking and questioned each other’s existence.
While HI secretary general Narinder Batra says Friday’s court order does not bar him from holding the election to the new body, which came into existence after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) de-recognized IHF headed by K. P. S. Gill, a senior IHF functionary has questioned HI’s very right to exist.
Batra said decks have been cleared for HI election in June and the election notice will be issued in four-five days. “The court order has no bearing on HI status as it is recognized by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after it disaffiliated the IHF,” Batra said.
“If you read the whole order, the judge clearly said ‘I am not here to decide the validity of HI’.”
“It does not affect us. Yes it is true that two bodies cannot exist, but international federation has disaffiliated IHF and later the Indian Women’s Hockey Federation in 2000. They failed to merge the men’s and women’s units and since then they had affiliated Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC) which was also de-recognized later.”
“What is HI’s status? A five-member body cannot call itself a national federation. Now that the IHF has been reinstated, HI cannot hold the election, more so after the court clearly stated that the government and ministry should recognize IHF,” a top IHF official said.
“Moreover, the ministry in its affidavit to the court has said that it does not recognize HI. Yes, the international body will recognize the unit that is affiliated to the National Olympic Commitee. So we are waiting for the response of the IOA and the ministry before deciding on the future course of action.”