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The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to maintain “status quo” over the official hockey body in the country.

The High Court ruling came after the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) piled a petition against a IOA special committee’s decision to recognise Hockey India (HI) as the custodian of the sport in the country.

Reacting to the petition, Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued notice to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, IOA, HI and International Hockey Federation (FIH) and asked them to file their response within two weeks. The court posted the matter for hearing on Oct 18.

The court also directed that the “status quo”, prevailing before the HI was declared as central sports body in the country be maintained.

Justice Shakdher said: “Notice issued to all the respondents and status quo shall be maintained.”

The petition filed by IHF said: “The impugned order passed by the IOA is clearly premeditated having already formed an opinion regarding the endorsement to be made in favour of the HI as regards the sole governing body in India.”

“The impugned order passed is blatantly illegal and without jurisdiction because the Special Committee was formed by the IOA at the asking of the Respondent (International Hockey Federation) to decide the central authority governing the sport of hockey in India.”

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam appearing for IHF, which has been fighting against HI to gain control over sports administration told the court that the special committee of IOA had “no power or authority to decide which sport body is National Sports Federation (NSF) for sport of hockey here”.

The IHF also sought a direction to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and others to quash the order of the special committee passed in favour of HI, Sep 5.

In addition IHF also sought institution of “an independent inquiry” by setting up another committee to look into the issue.

The plea said: “HI is a body which has been created by the IOA to usurp the control of the sport of Hockey in India, which has been ably managed by the IHF since the past 80 years.”

The dispute had started in 2008 to control Indian hockey when IOA de-recognised and disaffiliated IHF which was controlled by K.P.S. Gill, after its secretary K. Jyothikumaran was caught on camera in a sting operation accepting bribe to select a player.

HI was set up to replace IHF. However, the Delhi High Court later termed de-recognition of IHF as “illegal” and ordered its revival, a decision later challenged by HI in the Supreme Court.

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