Former Judge of Karnataka HC Appointed as BFI Administrator

Through common order[1] dated May 2, 2023, the Delhi High Court appointed the former judge of the Karnataka High Court, Justice P Krishna Bhat as an administrator of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) with immediate effect. The administrator is tasked with conducting the BFI elections as per the provisions of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 and the Model Election Guidelines (MEG).

Writ petitions were filed before the Delhi High Court alleging that the BFI President, Dr. K Govindraj is a politically influential person with the power to shape the outcome of the elections and the Returning Officer (RO) has been appointed to make sure of this. Further, the petitioners were aggrieved by the rejection of their nomination forms by the RO.

After hearing the concerned parties, the Single Judge Bench of Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav decided to appoint the former judge as the BFI administrator. The administrator has been given the liberty to decide whether the current RO should continue, or a different RO be appointed. It is also clarified that the BFI election process would continue from the stage of submission of nomination forms after treating the rejected nomination forms as valid.

The Government and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs have been directed to provide the requisite support to the administrator and to ensure that the court’s order is duly complied with. The administrator would function till the BFI elections conclude and the newly elected body takes control of the federation.

[1] Pondicherry Basketball Association vs. Union of India & Ors. [WP(C) 1731/2023] and other cases.