CBI registers case against Batra hours after he resigns as IOA, FIH president

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday filed a case against veteran sports administrator Narinder Batra hours after he resigned as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the International Hockey Federation (FIH), along with his position as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The CBI, in a statement, claimed they found ‘incriminating documents/records’ against Batra following raids at offices of Hockey India and IOA along with his residences in New Delhi and Jammu. In April, the CBI had launched a preliminary inquiry against Batra for alleged misappropriation of Hockey India funds to the tune of Rs 35 lakh.

On Monday, the investigating agency said that cases were registered against former Hockey India president Rajinder Singh, ex-secretary general Mohammad Mushtaque Ahmad who went on to become the organisation’s president, and former executive director RK Srivastava ‘for committing illegalities for renovation and furnishing of the office of IOA president in 2018.’

“It was alleged that during 2018, then HI President and then Secretary General, in conspiracy with then IOA President and then Executive Director, got executed the work of renovation & furnishing of the office of then IOA President without prior approval of the Executive Board of Hockey India,” the CBI said in its statement. “It was further alleged that in order to justify and to cover up the fraudulent expenditure at the approval stage, the accused fabricated and falsified the records.”

Batra’s tenure as the president of IOA ended abruptly in May after the Delhi High Court struck down the post of ‘life member’ in Hockey India, an organisation he headed in the past. Batra in 2017 had contested the election for IOA president on the basis of his position as Hockey India’s life member.

He then appealed against the ruling but a larger bench of the High Court refused to stay the order and listed the matter for hearing on July 26. His IOC membership was linked to the IOA role and in May, Batra had said he won’t stand for re-election as IOA president to be able to focus on his duties as FIH president.

A year before he became IOA president, Batra became the first Asian president of the world hockey body FIH and was re-elected for a second term, until 2024, last year. He resigned from all posts on Monday via separate handwritten notes, citing ‘personal reasons’.

The FIH Board accepted the resignation and said an acting president will be appointed soon in Batra’s place.

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