NRAI barred from attending IOA meeting

New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) was barred from attending the General Body Meeting of the suspended Indian Olympic Association (IOA) here Sunday.

The NRAI is fighting a legal battle in Delhi High Court which ruled the sporting body's elections held April 6 as null and void. The case was filed by Olympic silver medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Raja Sidhu, IOA joint secretary, questioned the NRAI's participation in the meeting Sunday when it had a court case pending against it. Sidhu was recently suspended by the Punjab shooting body, an affiliate of the NRAI, for attending the elections of the IOA last year.

Sidhu asked chairman S. Raghunathan to settle the issue. Raghunathan, who was chairing the meet in the absence of IOC-recognised president V.K. Malhotra, sought the help of IOA member and senior lawyer R.K. Anand, who eventually told NRAI chief Raninder Singh to stay away from the proceedings.

"There were two separate petitions on the election issue and one single-judge bench of Delhi High Court had ruled it in our favour and hence the matter has been referred to a division bench. Till the pendency of the appeal, we are the legal body," said an angry Raninder after coming out of the meeting.

"I think a group of people in the IOA have deliberately done this because we have been supporting the IOC (International Olympic Committee) on the issue of barring chargesheeted persons from IOA elections and we have also supported the age and tenure restrictions," he added.

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