India Watch Daily

Hearing the Protesting Wrestlers’ Appeal Against WFI Presidential Elections at Delhi High Court

<p>On Monday, the Delhi High Court is set to consider a plea filed by Indian wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and her spouse Satyawart Kadian.</p>
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<p>Citing infractions of the Sports Code, the athletes are attempting to declare the recent Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections invalid and to annul them.</p>
<p>The petition contends that the elections held on December 21 were conducted in violation of the Sports Code and have been scheduled before Justice Sachin Datta. They are pushing for the suspension of all sport-related activity by the federation until the issue is settled.</p>
<p>The petition highlights how the federation’s activities have wider ramifications and claims that numerous athletes outside of the petitioners have been harmed by its policies, which were purportedly influenced by its previous president, Brij Bhushan Singh.</p>
<p>Remarkably, the wrestlers took part in the Jantar Mantar demonstration last year, demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the WFI chairman at the time, due to accusations of sexual harassment made against other female grapplers.</p>
<p>The plea now charges the WFI with trying to intimidate and exclude athletes who are protesting, harming their chances of competing internationally.</p>
<p>In addition, the petition requests that the WFI’s daily operations be continued by the ad hoc committee or that a retired Supreme Court judge be appointed to supervise the federation’s administration.</p>
<p>The WFI has been called a “habitual offender” by the wrestlers for persistently disobeying orders from the Sports Ministry and the ad hoc committee; they contend that these acts have seriously impeded the advancement of Indian wrestlers’ careers.</p>
<p>The WFI reportedly continued to plan unauthorized trials and events in defiance of the Sports Ministry’s order for it to stop managing the organization and stop holding trials or national competitions.</p>
<p>The case asks the court to declare the elections on December 21 unlawful, claiming they were conducted in flagrant breach of the sports code and had serious flaws.</p>

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