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The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to a National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) member on whose petition a lower court had annulled the election of the organisation’s top office bearers.

Hearing the appeal of NRAI president Digvijay Singh and honorary secretary general Baljit Sethi against the order, Justice Reva Khetrapal issued notice to NRAI member Raju Soni and asked him to file his response by March 8, the next date of hearing.

It is on Mr. Soni’s complaint last year that a lower court had last month held that the election of NRAI’s top office bearers was invalid on the grounds that they had flouted norms by contesting for the posts after completing two consecutive terms.

Lawyers appearing on behalf of Mr. Singh and Mr. Sethi argued that the constitution of NRAI permits any member to continue in office for any amount of time and the lower court erred in its conclusions.

They also argued that the original complaint was time barred because the complainant had become a member in 1994 and was now protesting against the norms.

The lower court had earlier restrained NRAI from “accepting the nomination of any member to the governing body or as an office bearer, if the incumbent has held the office for more than two consecutive terms”.

The court had also restrained Digvijay Singh, and Mr. Sethi from “contesting the elections” declaring them ineligible after it found that they had violated the norms of the body’s constitution, which only allowed a person to hold office for a maximum two consecutive terms.

While Mr. Sethi has remained honorary secretary general since June 1985, Singh had been holding the post of the president since 1999.

Mr. Soni, a life member of the NRAI, sought restraint orders against Singh and Sethi from contesting the elections.

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