Supreme Court lifts stay on the election of Wrestling Federation of India

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The two-judge bench of the Supreme Court (SC), on November 28, 2023 (yesterday), lifted the stay imposed on the election to the Executive Council of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The matter was heard by a bench comprising Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pankaj Mithal. It observed, “We fail to understand how the entire process of election could have been set at naught by the High Court. The proper course would have been to allow the election to be conducted and make the election subject to the outcome of the pending writ petition. Accordingly, the impugned order granting interim relief is set aside.” 

Further, the SC bench allowed the polls to be conducted and directed “It’ll be open for the Returning Officer to proceed with the election by publishing a revised election program. We make it clear that the outcome of the election will be subject to orders that may be passed in the writ petition. We’ve made no adjudication on the merits of the controversy involved in the writ petition. The appeal is allowed in the above terms.”

The bench was hearing a special leave petition against the interim order of the Punjab and Haryana HC staying the election of the Wrestling Federation of India. The SLP was filed by the Ad-Hoc Committee, WFI. Following a sexual misconduct charge against the WFI's chief, the sport's world governing body has suspended the organization for not holding elections. During the proceedings, Senior Advocate Gurukrishna Kumar, Advocate Vikas Singh, and Advocate-on-Record Awantika Manohar appeared for the petitioner.