New Delhi: Veteran sports administrator Narinder Batra’s former office at the Indian Olympic Association headquarters and the Hockey India office here were on Monday raided by CBI officials who claimed to have “recovered incriminating documents and records" relating to an alleged misappropriation of funds. Batra on Monday resigned as President of International Hockey Federation (FIH) and also gave up his IOC membership, almost two months after a High Court ruling ended his reign as IOA chief.
Batra quit his positions hours after the CBI conducted multiple raids at his residence and offices in New Delhi and Jammu. “Searches were conducted today at offices of HI & IOA at Delhi; residential premises of the accused at New Delhi & Jammu which led to recovery of incriminating documents/records. Investigation is continuing," the CBI said on its website.
In April, the CBI had initiated a preliminary inquiry against Batra for alleged misappropriation of Hockey India funds to the tune of Rs 35 lakh. The CBI also registered cases against former Hockey India president Rajinder Singh, ex-secretary general Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad — who later became president — and former executive director R K 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 Executive Board of Hockey India," CBI statement said. “It was further alleged that in order to justify and to cover up the fraudulent expenditure at approval stage, the accused fabricated and falsified the records." Batra ceased to be President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) when the Delhi High Court, on May 25, struck down the post of ‘Life member’ in Hockey India, courtesy which he had contested and won the elections to the top sports body back in 2017.
Batra had appealed against the ruling but a larger bench of the High Court had refused to stay the earlier order and listed the matter for the next hearing on July 26. The sports administrator also officially resigned as IOA President. In three separate handwritten notes, Batra officially tendered his resignation from the three positions. In all the letters, he cited “personal reasons" for his decision.
“Due to personal reasons I submit my resignation from the post of President FIH," Batra wrote to the Executive Board of FIH. Batra became president of FIH in 2016 and reclaimed the position last year for a second term till 2024.
The FIH Board accepted the resignation and said an acting president will be appointed soon in Batra’s place. Batra’s IOC membership was linked to IOA presidency but his resignation from FIH has come as surprise since in May he had said that he wants to focus on his job in the world hockey body.
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