Stand-off over karate outfits resolved

Jamshedpur, Feb. 2: The battle of one-upmanship between two warring karate outfits of the state ended today with the Karate do Association of Jharkhand being formally named as the only bona fide association for the sport in the state.

The announcement comes after a long-drawn legal battle between two national karate associations ' both named All India Karate Federation ' at Mumbai High Court after which the deputy charity commissioner, Mumbai, ruled in favour of the Rameshwar Nirvan-led outfit and deemed the one led by R. Thiagarajan null and void.

The national karate outfit split in 2007 with both Nirvan and Thiagarajan heading separate factions under the name of All India Karate Federation and claiming to be the lone bona fide association for the sport in the country. The All India Karate Federation was registered under Section 22 of the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950.

The matter was brought before Mumbai High Court in 2008 after the Indian Olympic Association granted affiliation to the Thiagarajan group of All India Karate Federation much to the chagrin of Nirvan.

The court in June 2012 asked Mumbai's deputy charity commissioner to settle the dispute within six months.

The commissioner, in turn, in a December 28, 2012, order ruled in favour of the Nirvan group. After the December order, the All India Karate Federation deemed Karate do Association of Jharkhand, that owed close allegiance to it, as the only outfit representing the sport in the state. The existence of the Jharkhand State Karate Association (JSKA) was struck down.

Addressing a news meet here today, Karate do Association of Jharkhand president Nandji Prasad said JSKA had ceased to exist in Jharkhand.

"Though JSKA is no more in existence I invite all its office bearers to come forward and join us for the betterment of the sport in the state. Let us all work towards one umbrella body," Prasad said in the presence of secretary M.A. Kumar and other office bearers.

Prasad, who is a karateka himself, added that they were the affiliated body of the Jharkhand Olympic Association and duly recognised by the state government.

"The judgement has come as a relief for karatekas of the state who till now were confused. The JSKA had tried hard to field a team for the 34th National Games but we managed to get a stay order against it and instead sent our own team of karatekas," he said.

He also announced that they would conduct the All Jharkhand Inter-school Karate Championship in Dhanbad from March 22 to 24 and a state meet in Bokaro sometime in April.

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