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Mohun Bagan move court

Calcutta/New Delhi: A city civil court judge on Wednesday issued an interim order restraining the All India Football Federation (AIFF) from taking any action against Mohun Bagan without giving a proper hearing to the club.

The seventh judge of the court, Sandip Kumar Chowdhury, in the same order, also restrained the AIFF from preventing Mohun Bagan from playing in the future I-league matches till it hears the club.

The AIFF has deferred Mohun Bagan’s match against Pailan Arrows to be played at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday.

The order followed a petition moved by advocates Gitanath Ganguly and Saurav Ganguly on behalf of Mohun Bagan.

The lawyers told the court: “The club was forced to withdraw its team in a match on December 2 after the police failed to maintain law and order. One of our players (Syed Rahim Nabi) was seriously injured. We are apprehending that the AIFF will take penal action against the club for leaving the field.”

The lawyers claimed that AIFF had no authority to take action against Mohun Bagan without giving a hearing to the club.

Since the case was heard ex-parte, none was present to defend the AIFF.

The case will come up for hearing again on January 11.

While the AIFF waited for the legal opinion it sought on Mohun Bagan’s walkout in the derby clash from a former high court judge, the club sent the federation their view.

The opinion, given by a former judge of the Supreme Court, said the green-and-maroon brigade was perfectly justified in withdrawing the team from the match as the security and safety of the players were in danger.

The opinion also said that East Bengal, as the hosting club, failed to provide adequate security to players, spectators and officials.

The AIFF officials didn’t wish to comment on Wednesday’s court order. General secretary Kushal Das said: “I haven’t received any order yet. Once we receive anything like that, we will discuss the matter with our president Praful Patel.”

Senior vice president Subroto Dutta also spoke on similar lines. “I haven’t got the copy of the court order. The AIFF takes all decisions after allowing all concerned parties to express their views on the subjectů that’s principle of natural justice.”

Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa sees the deferment of their matches in a positive way. “I want to see the decision in a positive way. It will give the injured players time to get fit.”

Meanwhile, state sports minister Madan Mitra said that he would thank AIFF president Patel for his decision to look into all aspects before arriving at any decision against Mohun Bagan.

The minister had sent a letter on Tuesday urging the AIFF to take the law and order situation of the stadium and Bagan’s contribution to Indian football into consideration before announcing its judgement.