Delhi HC restrains Kalmadi from attending `London Olympics opening ceremony

The Delhi high court on Wednesday allowed sacked Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi to travel to London but restrained him from attending the July 27 Olympics opening ceremony, says a report in The Times Of India. He may be mistaken for an official representative, the court said, and that would be "contrary to national interest".

A division bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the government to send the HC judgment to the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations to make them "aware of the events...taking place here".

“Having regard to the fact that Kalmadi was associated with the International Olympic Committee for quite sometime, his presence in the ensuing Olympic Games, particularly at the opening ceremony, may be viewed by one and all concerned as representing India and would be contrary to the national interest. Therefore, we are not allowing him to attend the opening ceremony,” the Bench said, according to a report in The Indian Express.

Quoting a Supreme Court order, the Bench held that in the age of information technology, news travels very fast and therefore, even if Kalmadi was travelling in a personal capacity, his actions may cause embarrassment to the nation.

The court passed its order on a PIL filed by lawyer Rahul Mehra seeking to restrain Kalmadi from going to London for the Olympics in view of the fact that he was facing trial in a corruption case related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games and could not be allowed to represent the country at an international event.

Meanwhile a report in Hindustan Times says that he has, however, been allowed to witness the sports events from the next day in his individual capacity. The court has left it to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), of which he is a member, to decide whether to permit him to take part in its council meetings. Kalmadi is the president of the Asian athletics body.