A fresh date for Wresting Federation of India's (WFI) long-pending elections is likely to be announced on Wednesday after the Supreme Court set aside the stay imposed by Punjab and Haryana High Court, a member of the IOA-appointed ad hoc committee said.
An SC bench of justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal on Tuesday vacated the stay of the high court. The ad-hoc panel appointed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had moved the apex court against the September 25 order of the HC.
"I have spoken to the returning officer appointed by the IOA to conduct the elections and he is waiting for the SC order. It is up to him to take a decision on when the election process will start again," ad hoc committee member Bhupender Singh Bajwa told PTI.
"I think most probably, he (returning officer) will take the decision (on election date) by Wednesday," Bajwa said.
"As far as the ad hoc committee is concerned, we are ready."
The IOA had on April 27 appointed an ad-hoc committee to run wrestling following protests by seven wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat, who alleged that WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh had sexually harassed female grapplers.
The ad-hoc panel was supposed to hold elections within 45 days.
The world body UWW had on April 28 also warned that it could suspend WFI if the deadline to hold elections was not honoured. UWW carried out the threat by suspending WFI on August 24 for not conducting elections on time.
Former Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Mahesh Mittal Kumar was on June 12 appointed as returning officer to hold WFI elections. He had originally set July 11 as the date for the polls.
But the Assam association moved the Gauhati High Court and succeeded in getting a stay on the polls on June 25.
However, the Andhra state association challenged the decision in the Supreme Court which quashed the Gauhati High Court decision on July 18, paving the way for the conduct of the polls.
The Returning officer then declared August 12 as the new poll date but a day before the elections, Punjab and Haryana High Court stayed the process on an application moved by Haryana Wrestling Association (HWA), which was led by Deepinder Singh Hooda before being suspended by WFI.
HWA had challenged the move to allow Haryana Amateur Wrestling Association to cast votes in the WFI polls.