Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 11
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday stayed the election of cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu as the president of the Punjab Badminton Association.
Ashu was on Thursday elected unopposed for the top post.
The order by Justice GS Sandhawalia followed a petition filed by Tejinder Singh Walia and another petitioner against State of Punjab and other respondents.
“This Court is of the opinion that since elections have taken place during the pendency of proceedings which were pending before this Court, the election result which was declared on December 10 is liable to be stayed,” Justice Sandhawalia asserted, while fixing the case for further hearing on January 25, 2021.
Four vice-presidents, along with other office bearers, were also declared elected.
The petitioners had moved the High Court claiming that election scheduled for February 27 could not be held. Further activity could not take place, thereafter, due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The meeting/elections were now to be held on December 27, as per decision dated November 19.
The impugned order thereafter was passed on October 30 without issuing notice to the petitioners, keeping in view that another writ petition was pending with prayer for issuance of direction to the government to form an ad hoc committee to administer the association’s affairs and functioning, and for conducting the elections.
Resultantly, a committee of three deputy commissioners was set up to ensure the holding of elections. In pursuance of the impugned order, a new schedule was fixed by the committee, whereby the election was to take place on December 13.
Accepting notice issued by the Bench, the State counsel on December 9 prayed for time to seek instructions “as to why the elections be not held as per the association’s proposal on December 27, the date already fixed”.
As the case came up for resumed hearing, Justice Sandhawalia observed: “It has already been brought to this Court’s notice that the order passed on October 30 is without issuing notice to the petitioner/association, which had already set in motion the election process. It was rather slated for December 27. The election schedule was thus, drawn up, in which the date of withdrawal was December 10. On account of withdrawals, the persons had been declared elected”.