January 16 - A court in New Delhi has declared the recent elections of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) null and void, leaving the organisation's future in doubt.

It is the second major blow to the NRAI today after Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra had earlier threatened to quit the sport before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October because he claimed that they were harming his preparations.

The court agrees ruled that NRAI office bearers are violating legal norms and barred the current President Digvijay Singh and the honorary secretary Baljit Sethi from holding any post or contest any association election in future too.

Singh has been the President of NRAI since 1999 while Sethi has held the post since 1985 during which time shooting has been arguably India's most successful Olympic sport, culminating in Bindra's victory in the 10 metre event in Beijing in 2008.

But the organisation have been blamed for not capitalising on the shooters success, failing to bring in sufficient sponsorship and putting in place proper programmes for the grassroots and elite competitors.

The decision followed a petition filed by Raju Soni, a life long member of the NRAI, seeking restraint against Singh and Sethi from contesting the board elections of the authority.

The petition, which was filed in January 2009, came at a time when NRAI was preparing for its elections and both Singh and Sethi were nominated for the post of president and general secretary respectively after holding office for two consecutive terms.

Soni challenged their candidature alleging that their move was in the violation of the NRAI's constitution.

He also alleged that the nominations were not disclosed to anyone.

Sethi said: "We will challenge this in the High Court.

"This order will have no bearing because in 1993 we amended the constitution [of the NRAI]."

The judgement ruled that the NRAI's own constitution said it was illegal for any member to hold office for more than two terms.

The court also warned other sports federation must not run bodies like personal dictatorships, a move which would set the alarm bells ringing across the Olympics sports spectrum in India where several key officials have held their posts for many years.

District Judge Ina Malhotra said: "The national organisations are required to adhere to the guidelines which stipulate that an office bearer of a national sports association may hold office for one term of four years and be eligible for re-election for like term but not beyond."

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January 2010:
 Indian Olympic champion threatens to quit before Delhi