The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on Friday a plea by All India Football Federation (AIFF) challenging the Delhi High Court verdict setting aside the election of NCP leader Praful Patel as the president of the sports body.
AIFF’s counsel mentioned the matter before a bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer and sought a stay on the high court’s October 31 order, which had also appointed former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi as the administrator-cum-returning officer to conduct fresh polls to the sport body.
The counsel sought urgent listing of the matter contending that AIFF has to bid for hosting the FIFA Under-20 World Cup and the last date to submit the bid was November 14.
“The high court had set aside the election of AIFF committee. We are seeking a stay on it (high court’s order). Under the FIFA Rules, a country is recognised only if there is an elected body and if there is no elected body, a country is derecognised by the FIFA,” the AIFF counsel told the bench.
The bench, after hearing the brief submissions, said the plea would be heard on November 10.
The high court had set aside the election of Patel as the president of the sports body observing that the AIFF Rules were in breach of the National Sports Code and Model Guidelines.
Patel, a former minister of civil aviation and heavy industries, was elected for a four-year term in December last year along with the Executive Committee for 2017-2020, after the high court had, as an interim measure, vacated the stay on the polls on the ground that the result would be subject to the final outcome of the issue pending before it.
The high court had directed that fresh elections should be held in accordance with the model guidelines.
It had said the administrator should conduct the polls by resolving the issue of disaffiliation of members/units of AIFF as on November 30, 2016 and preparing the electoral list within a month by giving two weeks notice to the parties.
The high court had said that till the elections are conducted and the results declared in consonance with the National Sports Code and in compliance with its directions, the AIFF should not make any new financial commitments, except with the administrator’s prior approval.
The court passed the interim order on an application by the AIFF seeking vacation and modification of its December 15 last year’s order staying the election process.
The National Sports Code is a set of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2011 to ensure that National Sports Federations (NSFs) dependent on government funding are made accountable and transparent.