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Delhi High Court notices wrestlers’ plea challenging WFI elections

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Delhi HC issues notice on wrestlers' plea against WFI elections

The Delhi High Court issued a notice on a petition by wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Satyawart Kadian, seeking to declare the recent Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections as illegal for violating the Sports Code. The petition argues that the elections were conducted in disregard of the Sports Code.

Justice Sachin Datta heard the case and sought a response from the Centre, WFI, and the federation’s Ad-Hoc Committee. The Centre’s counsel sought time, and the case is listed for the next hearing on March 7. The petition calls for the WFI to halt any activities related to the sport until the matter is resolved.

The wrestlers were actively involved in a protest last year at Jantar Mantar, demanding the arrest of the then WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment against female grapplers. The plea now accuses the WFI of attempting to silence protesting athletes and calls for an Ad-Hoc committee to manage daily affairs or the appointment of a retired Supreme Court judge.

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The wrestlers have labelled the WFI a “habitual offender” for consistently ignoring directives from the Sports Ministry, hindering the career growth of Indian wrestlers. Despite directives to cease management functions and refrain from conducting trials, the federation reportedly persisted in organizing unauthorized events. The petition seeks to invalidate the December 21 elections, labelling them as fundamentally flawed and violating the Sports Code.

IANS, established in 1986, is India's largest independent news service, offering 24x7 news from India and South Asia, and a preferred source for diverse content across six business verticals.

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