New Delhi :Hockey India's election will at last be held on Thursday with former captain Pargat Singh pitted against Vidya Stokes for the president's post.
The election, previously scheduled July 30, was stayed by the Delhi and Bombay High Courts on two different petitions. It was the third time that HI elections were postponed.
But HI moved the Supreme Court, which vacated the stay keeping in mind an International Hockey Federation (FIH) warning that India would not be debarred from participating in international events starting with the women's World Cup this month if elections were not held.
A detailed hearing on the case will take place on August 19 and the apex court has asked HI not to implement the outcome of the election until the final verdict is out.
There was further trouble for HI Wednesday as two Assam sports officials were booked by the Meghalaya Police in Shillong for impersonating as members of Hockey Meghalaya (HM) to vote in the election.
Raj Kakoti, treasurer of Assam Olympic Association, and Sumita Sinha have been booked for cheating and impersonation, police said.
"We have registered a case against the duo," Vivek Syiem, Deputy Superintendent of Meghalaya Police, told IANS.
Syiem said the investigation is on and Kakoti and Sinha will be questioned.
Meghalaya's directorate of sports and youth affairs Tuesday lodged a complaint against the Assam sports officials.
The HI is also yet to reply to sports ministry's show cause notice. The ministry asked it to explain before the election as to why the government should not de-recognise it in the wake of the federation's declaration before Delhi High Court that it is a private body and would not follow the government guidelines, like an age limit, for the polls.
HI has fielded 83-year-old Stokes against Pargat.
HI interim secretary general Narinder Batra, who would be contesting for the same post, said they will give their reply to the sports ministry.
"We will send our reply in time. We have asked the sports ministry to send their election observer," Batra said.
The ministry had withdrawn its election observer on the Delhi High Court's order which said that the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) is the sole recognised body to run the sport in the country.
Batra said FIH vice president Antonio Von Ondarza, who is also the FIH election observer, will be reaching here Wednesday night to oversee the polls. "We will also have the observer from the Indian Olympic Association."
Besides the posts of president and secretary general, elections will be held for one senior vice president, four vice presidents (2 men, 2 women), four joint secretaries (2 men, 2 women), a treasurer and five executive members.
As per the HI constitution, there should be 40 percent representation of either gender in the new 17-member executive committee.