CWG accused Lalit Bhanot not an IOA, AFI delegate in Tokyo Olympics, HC informed

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New Delhi, Jun 7 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has been informed by the Indian Olympic Association and Athletic Federation of India that the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption case accused Lalit Bhanot is not travelling to Tokyo Olympics as their delegate.

The submission was in response to a plea seeking to restrain Bhanot from representing IOA, AFI and India at any international sporting event including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in any capacity.

The upcoming international multi-sport event is scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

Bhanot is facing trial in the games-related corruption case along with nine others, including the then Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi, for allegedly cheating, conspiracy and causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.

A bench of Justices Manmohan and Navin Chawla accepted the statements made by the counsel for IOA and AFI and said they are bound by these.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on July 8.

Senior advocate Pramod Kumar Dubey, representing the IOA, and advocate Hrishikesh Baruah, appearing for AFI, submitted that Bhanot “is not travelling to Tokyo Olympics as a delegatee either of respondent no.2 or respondent no.3”.

Dubey, assisted by lawyers Hemant Phalpher and Jaya Suri Phalpher, submitted that Bhanot was an elected member of the executive council of IOA and was merely a simple member having no such powers.

“Respondent no. 4 (Bhanot) has not held any executive committee post or office bearer post in the IOA since 2014,” IOA said in its affidavit, adding that Bhanot has not contested for any of such posts The court was hearing a petition filed by N Rami Reddy, a former sprinter and National Athletics Champion from Andhra Pradesh, seeking to quash the appointment of Bhanot as an executive council member, chairman or member in various committees in the IOA and AFI, in violation of law.

He has alleged that there are various irregularities and illegalities in the IOA and AFI in which Bhanot has been appointed and inducted in various positions as executive council member, chairman/ member of various ad-hoc committees despite having been charge-framed in a serious case of corruption and forgery.

As an interim relief, the petition, filed through advocate Vanshdeep Dalmia, sought to restrain Bhanot from representing the sports body or the country at any of the international sports event.

“Bhanot, illegally continues to be actively involved in the day to day functioning of the IOA and AFI and has been wrongly representing India at international and national events since the last many years despite being charge framed in cases wherein serious charges of corruption and forgery have been made against him, and is further slated to be the Chairman of the Tokyo Olympics Preparation Committee and be the face of India at the Tokyo Olympics.

“The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start in July, 2021 and Bhanot would be travelling to Tokyo to represent India sometime in the first week of July, 2021,” the plea said.

In the main petition, petitioner has sought to appoint an administrator along with setting up of an inquiry into the day-to-day functioning of the AFI.

It has also sought to quash any other and consequential appointments of Bhanot in the IOA, AFI or any other sports federation and direct him to render accounts of all gratification and financial benefits received by him from the IOA and AFI from 2012 till date and refund the same to the accounts of the authorities. PTI SKV SA

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