Wrestlers Challenge Legality of WFI Elections, Seek Court Intervention

Wrestlers Challenge Legality of WFI Elections, Seek Court Intervention

The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Central government and the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) in response to a petition filed by renowned wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and her husband Satyawart Kadian. The petition challenges the legality of the WFI elections held in December 2023 and seeks their nullification.

The wrestlers, represented by senior advocate Rahul Mehra, allege that the elections violated the Sports Code and were conducted in a manner that undermines the integrity of the sport. They contend that the WFI has engaged in various wrongdoings, including sexual harassment and attempts to silence and sideline wrestlers who have spoken out against these abuses.

The petition specifically targets the election of Sanjay Kumar Singh, a close associate of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as the new president. The wrestlers argue that this election was orchestrated to maintain the influence of Singh, who has been accused of sexual harassment by seven women grapplers.

The wrestlers also accuse the WFI of defying directives from the Sports Ministry and the ad-hoc committee appointed to oversee the federation's affairs. They claim that the WFI has continued to conduct selection trials and other activities in violation of these directives, adversely affecting the career prospects of Indian wrestlers.

The petition requests the court to declare the WFI elections void and to direct the federation to cease all activities related to wrestling. It also seeks the appointment of a retired Supreme Court judge as an administrator to take over the management of the WFI.

The court has granted time to the Central government and the WFI to respond to the petition and has scheduled a further hearing for March 7. The outcome of this case will have significant implications for the future of wrestling in India and the accountability of sports federations.

Tags: #Wrestling, #WFI, #BajrangPunia, #VineshPhogat, #SakshiMalik

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