On the day when Assam Finance, Education and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the President of Badminton Association of India (BAI), attended the meeting of the 2nd South Asian Regional Badminton Federation (SABF) in Delhi on Tuesday, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court seeking Sarma’s removal as the BAI chief.
Through his PIL, Kamlesh Verma, a resident of Delhi, has sought removal of Assam Minister Himanta from the post of BAI President alleging that he was appointed in the top post of the badminton association of the country violating the Supreme Court’s that a minister or a public servant cannot be posted as an office-bearer of a sports body.
Informing that he attended the meeting of the 2nd SABF in New Delhi on Tuesday, BAI president and a powerful minister of the BJP-led Assam government, Sarma tweeted: “Attending 2nd South Asian Regional Badminton Federation (SABF) today at Delhi with participation from 7 countries.”
The PIL, which was reportedly filed through advocate DK Devesh, also drew the attention of the apex court that Sarma, against whom there are “corruption charges”, had been “summoned by the CBI and his house was also raided by the CBI” in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.
Referring to the case of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2016, the PIL also sought the Supreme Court’s directive for appointing a committee of administrators so that BAI can function in a smooth way.
Assam Badminton Association President Himanta Biswa Sarma was appointed as the interim president of BAI during its executive council meeting in Lucknow on April 23, 2017.
Earlier, in 2009, former Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MLA and now a BJP legislator, Padma Hazarika filed a PIL in Gauhati High Court seeking reopening of two TADA cases against Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
While one of the cases against Sarma was lodged at Chandmari PS (case No 77/1991), another case was lodged at Panbazar PS (case No 15/1991).
As per media reports, the case in Chandmari PS was related to an alleged extortion bid by Sarma after which he was booked under TADA on March 28, 1991.
The case lodged at Panbazar PS under Sections 3 and 4 of TADA was related to extortion at the behest of the militant outfit, United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).
However, the PIL lodged by Hazarika was dismissed by a division bench of the court, comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Amitabh Roy.
Former BJP MP Sukhdeo Paswan also lodged a PIL against Sarma in Gauhati High Court for reopening of the two TADA cases against Sarma but he later withdrew the PIL.
He told the court that he wanted to withdraw the cases as he came to know about many unknown facts regarding the core issues raised in the PIL and did not want to pursue the cases further.
The court fined him Rs 1 lakh for filing litigation without sufficient grounds.
Similarly, Hazarika’s PIL was dismissed by the High Court and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.
Hazarika’s PIL was reportedly dismissed on the ground that a politician can’t lodge a PIL against another politician as “PILs were devised as a m ode to address the grievances of the poor and underprivileged who had no access to justice”.