KATHMANDU, May 4: As the Kathmandu District Court in its order on Thursday ruled out any need of interim order on the writ petition filed seeking deferral of the elections scheduled for May 5, the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) election is taking place on the stipulated date.
ANFA incumbent treasurer and Kathmandu District Football Association President Birat Jung Shahi and some other officials had filed a writ petition against the National Sports Council (NSC), ANFA and the central football body’s election committee at the district court on Wednesday. Shahi and other petitioners claimed that the elections should be deferred as the organizers breached the provision of issuing a notice 60 days in advance of the election.
After hearing on the writ petition, a single bench of justice Ramesh Raj Pokharel, refusing to issue an interim order to stay the elections, has issued a 15-day show-cause order to petitioners.
“The court has clearly written in favor of conducting the elections on the stipulated time. Refusing to issue the interim order the court has paved the way for holding elections on the stipulated date,’’ the presidential candidate Karma Chirring Sherpa, who is for holding elections on May 5, told Republica.
“The court always stands in favor of truth. The court has issued an order in our favor. We have won an important legal battle in favor of Nepali football today. We are encouraged with the court decision. Now we should give a solution to Nepali football through the upcoming elections,’’ he added.
Sherpa was of the view that the interim order has answered all the questions raised about the validity of the ANFA elections. “All the efforts aimed at foiling the elections have become unsuccessful. FIFA, AFC, ANFA, the election committee and the National Sports Council (NSC) have always remained positive about holding the elections,’’ said Sherpa. “Now the scheduled election is given validity from the court as well.’’
Shahi said that he will respect the decision of the court. “We must respect the court’s decision. But, we still have other options of moving higher court,’’ Shahi told Republica. “After studying the full text of the court decision, we will consult our lawyers and decide about our next move.’’
Along with Shahi, two other vice-presidential candidates Ganesh Bahadur Chand (president of Kanchanpur District Football Association) and Mohammad Sami Ullah (president of Bara District Football Association) including Siraha’s Prabin Kumar Yadav, Parsa’s Man Dev Hajara, Lalitpur’s Purushottam Thapa, Kailali’s Mohit Kumar Shah and Satdobato Youth Club member Ashok Bista, had filed the petition. The petitioners belong to the panel led by Mani Kunwar, the other presidential candidate, who is for deferring the elections.
Kuwar demanded immediate deferral of the elections arguing that the ANFA statute was breached while holding the elections and that such a move would invite further controversy in Nepali football.
Stating that the election date was fixed without issuing a 60-day prior notice, the date was not first decided by the working committee, and that the NSC had not endorsed its statute, the Kunwar panel had claimed that the May 5 elections would be invalid.
The elected committee of ANFA, whose term had expired in November last year, had fixed the date of March 28 to hold the General Assembly, citing various reasons including the November 26 and December 7 House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections.
But the elections could not be held on the scheduled date, after the High Court Patan, hearing on the writ petition filed by the Bhaktapur and Makwanpur district chapters, issued an interim order to stay the elections.
However, the Patan court later withdrew the stay order, clearing the way to hold the elections.