A day after the court pronounced that posts like ‘life member’ and ‘life president’ in the NSFs and, that of CEO in the managing committee, are illegal which effectively left Batra powerless, the international hockey federation (FIH) president reminded his adversaries on Thursday that he’s still the boss when it comes to running the IOA’s show.
Batra’s assertion prompted a strong rebuttal from senior vice-president Anil Khanna, who reminded his nemesis that his continuation in the top job will tantamount to contempt of court. Khanna told IOA’s staff that from now onwards they will take instructions explicitly from secretary general Mehta, treasurer Anandeshwar Panday and “myself as acting president” with immediate effect.
Batra, in his communication to member associations, informed that he hasn’t been stripped of his powers as IOA chief by the court. Batra stated that he’ll continue to serve as the IOA president till such time as new elections are conducted by the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA). “I have not resigned as president of IOA, as has been misreported in some sections of the media,” Batra said in a statement.
Khanna, who took charge as acting IOA chief after the court’s verdict, rejected Batra’s contention. “As per this (Delhi High Court) order, Batra’s term as President of IOA has come to an end with immediate effect on 25th May 2022,” Khanna wrote in his mail to IOA member associations.
“In 2017, Batra ceased to be President of Hockey India and was not a member of the Executive Committee of HI. Batra was a Life Member of HI as per para 126.96.36.199 of HI Constitution and it was in this capacity as Life Member of HI, that his name was included in the Electoral College of IOA. Batra’s claim is once again challenging the order of the Court and the constitution of IOA. This may tantamount to contempt of court,” added Khanna, who is the chairman of IOA’s Finance Commission.