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Khanna's nomination for post of IOA prez cleared by RO

30 Nov 2017, 20:39 IST

New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI) Top tennis official Anil Khanna's candidature for the post of Indian Olympics Association (IOA) President in the December polls was today cleared by the Returning Officer, a development which left three contestants in the fray.

International Hockey Federation President Narinder Batra and Indian Weightlifting Federation chief Birendra Prasad Baishya are the other two whose nomination papers were found to be in order after a scrutiny today.

Khanna, a former president of All India Tennis Association and current Asian Tennis Federation chief, had seconded Batra's nomination for the post of president but decided at the last minute to also jump into the fray himself.

His last minute filing of nomination papers after seconding a candidate's name for the same post was challenged by S M Hashmi and four others with complaints being filed to Returning Officer S K Mendiratta.

But, Mendiratta, also an legal advisor to the Election Commission of India, rejected the representation, saying that there was "no legal infirmity" in Khanna seconding a candidate and then filing his nominations later on for the same post.

"If an elector proposes the name of a candidate for a certain post, he does not thereby lose his right to stand as a candidate himself for the same post if he so desires or decides. By becoming a proposer of a candidate, he does not forfeit his right to contest the election," Mendiratta said.

"Therefore, I do not find any legal infirmity or hurdle against Mr Anil Khanna proposing the candidature of Mr Narinder Dhruv Batra for the post of president and later on offering his own candidature for the same post of the President," he added.

Mendiratta said it was well recognised principle of electoral laws that an elector has three rights -- right to vote, right to propose a candidate and right to contest the election.

"l do not find any provision in the Election Bye-Laws of the IOA nor in the General Law applicable to election in India which may prevent a proposer from becoming a candidate himself," Mendiratta said.

"I do not find any reason to review my order passed earlier accepting the nomination paper of Mr. Anil Khanna as candidate for the post of President."

After the scrutiny of nomination papers, five candidates are in fray for the lone post of senior vice president while the nomination papers of 16 were found to be in order for the eight posts of vice-presidents.

There are three in the fray for one post of treasurer and the nominations papers of nine were found to be in order for six joint secretaries to be elected on December 14 in the IOA's elective Annual General Body Meeting here.

Twenty-one were left in the fray for 10 other Executive Council members.

Incumbent Rajeev Mehta is set to be re-elected as the Secretary General for his second term as he was the lone candidate to have filed the nomination papers.

Withdrawals of candidatures can be done till December 3.

Yesterday, the General Body, the IOA's highest decision making organ, in a special meeting has decided that the members of the Executive Council elected in December 2012 and February 2014 would be eligible to contest for the posts of President and Secretary General

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