The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the operation of a letter dated July 25, 2023, issued by the Union government and the Indian Olympic Association, whereby the Handball Association (India) has been accorded the status of National Sports Federation.
The order was passed by a bench of Justice Vinod S Bhardwaj while hearing a petition filed by Handball Federation of India.
The petitioner-federation through counsel, Senior Advocate Sunil Chadha with Akshay Chadha, contended that the petitioner-federation was earlier registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, and after the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012, came into being, it was re-registered as an existing society under Section 9 (4) of the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012. It has been the registered, recognised and affiliated National Sports Federation for Handball.
The elections to the petitioner-federation were held on August 14, 2022, and that legality and validity of the elections was duly accepted by this court as well. However, the elected office-bearers of the petitioner (Handball Federation of India) took an arbitrary and unilateral decision of merger of Handball Federation of India with the Handball Association (India), without any authority, approval or ratification by the competent body of the petitioner-federation.
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It was further argued that since no resolution of merger had been passed by the Handball Federation of India, the juristic existence of the petitioner-federation is alive. It was also told to the high court that the petitioner-federation having been recognised by the Indian Olympic Association would thus be entitled to continue to be the National Sports Federation for the sports discipline of handball.
The high court on hearing the matter issued a notice to the Union of India, and ordered to list the matter on September 29, 2023.
Sudhir Nar, Senior Panel Counsel, Union of India, accepted the notice on behalf of respondents, and prayed for some time to file the response. “In the meanwhile, operation of the impugned letter bearing Folio No.31-14/2009-SP-I (Vol. IV) dated July 25, 2023, along with all consequential proceedings that may arise therefrom shall remain stayed till the next date of hearing,” ordered the bench.