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The Delhi High Court Friday sought the response of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on the sports ministry’s plea for replacing the returning officer for next month’s Hockey India (HI) elections.

A division bench of Justices B.D. Ahmed and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought the IOA’s response by Monday.

Expressing surprise that no by-laws were being followed for the elections, the court said: “Why doesn’t the sports ministry take a practical note of this? Why don’t they formulate by-laws if they are not there? When the government has the power, why doesn’t it use it?”

The court also asked the sports ministry to place on record the by-laws, if any, by the next date of hearing.

The sports ministry had sought the replacement G.S Mander, who heads the Wrestling Federation of India and is also a senior vice president of the IOA, with any retired judge as the returning officer for next month’s Hockey India elections, claiming it has the support of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Hockey India elections are scheduled for Feb 7.

The ministry had Thursday rejected the appointment of Mander, saying no one from HI or IOA should be part of the electoral process

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