Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the decision of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to declare its rival Hockey India (HI) as the central body for regulating hockey in the country.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher sought responses from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, IOA, HI and International Hockey Federation on the IHF's plea within two weeks and fixed the matter for hearing on October 18.
The court, meanwhile, said the "status quo", prevailing before the HI was declared as central body for hockey in the country, be "maintained".
It was hearing the IHF's plea for a direction to declare as illegal the IOA Special Committee's decision to make HI as the central authority responsible for all matters relating to hockey in India.
"The impugned order passed by the IOA is clearly premeditated having already formed an opinion regarding the endorsement to be made in favour of the HI as regards the sole governing body in India.
"The impugned order passed is blatantly illegal and without jurisdiction because the Special Committee was formed by the IOA at the asking of the Respondent (International Hockey Federation) to decide the central authority governing the sport of hockey in India," the IHF said in its plea.
The IHF, which has been fighting against the HI to gain control over sports administration, contended that the IOA's Special Committee had "no power or authority to decide which sport body is National Sports Federation (NSF) for the sport of hockey here."
The petition has sought a direction to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and others to quash the special committee's order passed in favour of HI on September 5. The IHF has also sought institution of "an independent inquiry" by setting up another committee to look into the issue.
"The HI is a body which has been created by the IOA to usurp the control of the sport of hockey in India, which has been ably managed by the IHF for past 80 years," the petition said.
The fight to control Indian Hockey dates back to 2008 when IHF, led by K P S Gill, was de-recognised and disaffiliated by the Centre and the IOA after its Secretary K Jothikumaran was caught on camera in a sting operation accepting bribe to select a player.
HI came into being to replace IHF.
The Delhi High Court, however, later termed the IHF's de-recognition as "illegal" and ordered its revival, a decision, which was challenged later by the HI in the apex court.
The Supreme Court, while asking the Centre to resolve the dispute between IHF and HI, however, had allowed the latter to select national teams for some upcoming tournaments. In another twist to the tale, the government later also derecognised HI following the controversial election of Vidya Stokes as its president.