KATHMANDU, Jan 3: The Supreme Court (SC) has again given its verdict recognizing the Rukma Shamsher Rana-led Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC), scrapping all writs filed against it. With the decision, the court has upheld its previous decision to deny legitimacy to the committee of NOC led by CPN-UML leader and lawmaker Jeevan Ram Shrestha.
A joint bench of justices Deepak Raj Joshi and Dambar Bahadur Shahi, on Tuesday, decided to uphold the previous decision of the apex court regarding the recognition of NOC and scrapped all four writs submitted by different petitioners. With the apex court decision, the controversy regarding NOC has been ended, according to Hira Regmi, the spokesperson for the Rana-led committee.
“The Supreme Court’s decision has proved that Rana-led NOC was valid. It has canceled all the writs filed against them after the decision for main case was made in the favor of valid NOC.”
The verdict by the apex court is expected to end the years-long animosity between two warring factions-- Rana-led committee and Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan-led committee. The latter is recognized by International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Following the decision, senior vice-president of the Rana-led committee, Kishor Bahadur Singh, expressed his content and claimed that IOC will also recognize the committee. “There will be no parallel committee now,” Singh told Republica.
Following the verdict, separate writs filed by Jeevan Ram Shrestha in 2017, and Kishor Bahadur Singh and Umesh Bahadur Maskey in 2011 have been scrapped.
Internationally recognized NOC led by Jeevan Ram Shrestha responded by claiming to have enough ways to work. “The two writs of taking the control of bank account and objection of the court while working has been canceled,” he said. “This has made our work easy. The court has validated the decision made by a single bench of Justice Kalyan Shrestha.”
According to Shrestha, the court, two years ago, had rejected the petitioner’s claim that NOC’s action amounted to contempt of court as the internationally recognized organization was registered at National Sports Council (NSC) and was sending the national players in international tournaments.
Acting president of the Rana-led committee, Kishor Bahadur Singh, expressed his confidence that the apex court’s verdict would end the years-long hostility between the two warring NOCs.
“As the court has given its verdict in our favor, it will not be hard for the committee to get recognition from the IOC and the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia). The Olympic committee of Nepal will not have a parallel body. It is a breakthrough for Nepali sports,” said Singh.
The dispute had started after the representatives Michel Fillau of IOC and Haider Farman of OCA conducted the elections of NOC on March 14, 2007, despite Patan Appellate Court’s stay order against it. Dhurba Bahadur Pradhan was elected president unopposed while National Sports Council’s member secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha was elected general secretary.
In 2007, Rana himself had inaugurated the general assembly as the president. But, Kamal Chitrakar and Prasanna Man Shrestha, who had lost the election for a committee member, had filed the petition at the Supreme Court a year later citing that the election was invalid. Chitrakar and Shrestha had appealed the court to recognize the old NOC led by Rana. They had reached the court after the then Home Minister Bamdev Gautam had rejected the appeal.
The SC had revived the Rana-led committee after giving verdict in favor of the petition filed by Chitrakar and Shrestha on April 11, 2011. Pradhan had re-appealed against the SC’s verdict. But the SC, revoking Pradhan’s appeal, had ordered to implement the earlier decision.
Since Rana-led committee remained inactive, the Shrestha-led committee was carrying out the works regarding international tournaments. The Rana-led committee, which had been unable to function due to IOC’s and OCA’s non-cooperation, had seized control of the NOC office at Satdobato with the help of administration last year. Rana-led NOC team had occupied the building in March last year following the SC’s direction to the Home Ministry to implement the order from Verdict Implementation Directorate on December 7, 2016.