‘Quit as IOA chief, or explain why not’

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SummaryThe Bench accepted Mehra’s arguments and underlined that these facts were a part of the record.

Spelling further trouble for suspended Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi who is being prosecuted for his alleged role in the CWG scam, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked him either to “gracefully” quit the post of the Indian Olympic Association’s president or respond to the showcause why he should not be discontinued from holding the chair.

“Kalmadi should, at the first instance, take a call whether he would still like to continue or gracefully quit the post,” said a Bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, also noting that if he chose not to quit, he should be filing a reply to the court within two weeks’ time, explaining his reasons.

While passing the order, the court relied on Kalmadi’s January 3, 2012 letter, which he wrote while in Tihar Jail, to IOA’s “acting president” V K Malhotra that since he had been “implicated in false cases”, he would not be able to look after the association.

“Under these circumstances, I want to inform you that as mine is going to be a prolonged absence, I will not be taking part in the IOA activities for a long time,” Kalmadi had written, underlining that though he would not be involved in the day-to-day affairs, he was very much part of the administration.

Citing this letter and also the National Sports Code, which has limited the tenure of the office-bearers of sports bodies, Rahul Mehra, the petitioner, contended that in a situation wherein Kalmadi is not involved in IOA’s daily affairs and cannot contest the next election, he should not be allowed to continue as the IOA’s “official” president.

The Bench accepted Mehra’s arguments and underlined that these facts were a part of the record.

“In these circumstances, it is not understandable as to why should he continue. Let him show-cause on this aspect,” said the Bench, also issuing notices to Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma, also IOA officials under the scanner.

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