Pune, October 18, 2020: Maharashtra’s pioneering hockey body, the Maharashtra Hockey Association (MHA), has been revived with the election of new office bearers with the former national player Ikram Khan heading the team as the President and Hanif Shaikh being the secretary.
The new body came into being today, six years after being in wilderness of court cases and different leaders pulling strings after its parent body, the Indian hockey federation (IHF) was displaced by Hockey India, which installed Hockey Maharashtra to oversee state ‘s hockey activities.
“Our sole aim is to promote hockey in the cities, districts and the hinterlands of Maharashtra,” said the newly elected president, Ikram Khan.
The MHA has a rich history as it was formed by the legendary industrialist JRD Tata and ND Nagarvala way back in 1945, two years before independence. After India attained independence JRD Tata was instrumental in installing the national body, IHF.
The MHA will now first seek affiliation from the relevant national bodies before the onground action begins when the Covid pandemic clears up.
The Narinder Batra-led Hockey India, currently the national governing body of the sport is currently in turmoil with the Delhi High Court issuing notice to the central government, Hockey India (HI), its president Narinder Batra and CEO Elena Norman, seeking their response over the petition filed by the Olympic gold medalist Aslam Sher Khan challenging their appointment. The Delhi HC has sought a response from the central government, Hockey India and others over the petition challenging the appointment of Narendra Dhruv Batra and Elena Norman as Life Member and CEO respectively of the sport’s body.
A division bench of the high court, presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, issued notice to the central government, Hockey India, Batra and Norman hearing on the petition of former hockey player Aslam Sher Khan who was a part of the team that won the gold medal in the 1975 Hockey World Cup. He has sought quashing of certain articles of the Hockey India MOA whereby the posts of ‘Life Member’, ‘CEO’ and ‘Life President’ have been created, being in blatant contravention of the NSCI, Circular 1975 and 2001 Guidelines, illegal and unsustainable.
The petition has also sought appointment of an impartial administrator or ad-hoc committee of eminent sport persons to administer the affairs and oversee the day-to-day functioning and working until the MOA is amended and fresh elections in accordance with the Model Election Guidelines under the NSCI are undertaken.
The plea stated that the said articles of the Hockey India MOA are in direct and blatant violations of the National Sports Code 2011 (NSCI), Circular 1975, 2011 Guidelines passed by the Central government.
“Consequently the appointment of the Respondent No. 3 (Narendra Batra) and Respondent No. 4 (Elena Norman) to such posts of ‘Life Member’ and ‘CEO’ respectively is per se illegal and unsustainable in law and ought to be quashed,” the plea said.
The petition filed through Vansh Dalmia stated that Batra as a permanent life member in Hockey India has a permanent seat in the General House/Congress of Hockey India with a right to vote in the AGM/Elections of the body in the capacity of an individual Life Member despite not being elected by the members of the Hockey India.
“As per the NSCI, 2011 the voting Members of NSF can only be the State/ Union territory members of the respective NSF and the appointment of the Respondent No. 3 with an unlimited seat in the General House/ Congress of Hockey India till his death, in perpetuity is manifestly illegal and in direct contravention of the principles of good governance enshrined under the NSCI, 2011,” the plea said further.
The petitioner also sought court’s direction to Batra and Norman to render accounts of all gratification and financial benefits received by them from the Hockey India for holding the posts from the time of their appointments until date, and refund the same to the accounts of the sport’s body.
“This is an important development for us. We would like to build on this and regroup all lie-minded hockey lovers to get hockey back in ship shape in Maharashtra,” sain Ikram Khan, soon after the election, wherein each office bearer was elected unopposed to the respective post.
Ikram Khan also announced that the 117th Aga Khan Cup Hockey would be conducted this year too under the aegis of the MHA in Jalgaon. Host Jalgaon had won the 116th edition, beating the Nashik Range Police team in December 2019.