By Duncan Mackay

Abhay Singh Chautal and Randhir SinghNovember 19 - A retired Chief Justice has been appointed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to oversee the increasingly bitter Presidential election between Abhay Singh Chautala and Randhir Singh.  

Anil Dev Singh, who used to sit in the Rajasthan High Court, will take over as head of the three-man Election Commission after SY Quraishi quit because he did not agree with the way the poll was being conducted. 

Quraishi wanted the election on November 25 to be held under controversial guidelines drawn up by the Indian Government while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are insisting that they take place under rules laid out in the Olympic Charter. 

The row has plunged the IOA into its greatest crisis since it was founded in 1927 with the threat of suspension from the IOC hanging over it.

"While IOC is insisting that its charter and IOA constitution are paramount, the Government of India has formulated a Sports Code and it wants that IOA and National Sports Federations(NSF) should follow that code," the acting President of the IOA, V K Malhotra, has written in a letter sent to the IOC.

"The Sports Ministry of the Government of India has threatened that in case of the non-compliance of the Sports Code, it will withdraw its recognition to the concerned NSFs and even the IOA.

V K Malhotra outside buildingActing Indian Olympic Association President V K Malhotra has written to the IOC to say that they are "in a quandary"

"The High Court of Delhi has directed the IOA that it should follow the Sports Code while conducting the elections.

"Defying the orders will lead to contempt of court.

"[The] IOA finds itself in a quandary.

"It has no power to defy the High Court.

"It has to go by the law of the land.

"On the other hand, there is insistence from the IOC to adhere to its charter and existing IOA constitution."

Adding to the bitterness surrounding the campaign to replace the scandal-tainted Suresh Kalmadi, Chautala's brother Ajay has written to IOC President Jacques Rogge to complain about Singh.

Ajay Chautala, President of the Table Tennis Federation of India, claims that Singh broke the Olympic Charter by approaching the Government to seek clarification on his candidature.

"I am to inform you that IOC member in India Mr. Randhir Singh is violating your instructions and IOC Charter approaching Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India on 14th November 2012 to seek clarification on his own candidature as per the National Sports Code," Ajay said in his letter to Rogge.

"Since he [Singh] had a fear that being the secretary general of IOA for five consecutive terms, he may be declared ineligible for the post of President.

"This act of Mr. Randhir Singh clearly states that he believes and supports the National Sports Code formulated by the Government of India."

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