National motorsport federation FMSCI has banned its own President J Prithiviraj from officiating for three years in the wake of the organisational blunder that led to death of three, including a minor, during the ill-fated Rally of Jodhpur.
While Prithiviraj will continue to be president of the FMSCI, he won’t be allowed to officiate in national championships for three years. Top rally driver Gaurav Gill had crashed into a trespassing motorcycle carrying three people, including a minor, during the rally in September, forcing the organisers to call off the rally.
Gill was granted bail last month in connection with the case. The five-member FMSCI panel that included Past presidents Vicky Chandhok and Akbar Ebrahim, recommended a three-year ban on Prithviraj, event’s clerk of the course.
Prithviraj, who is part of the Coimbatore Auto Sports Club, was assisting rally organisers Maxperience. “The panel’s recommendation is to impose a ban on the COC of the event from officiating as a COC of any National Championship events for a period of 3 years and must officiate as DCOC for one year after 3 years,” read an official FMSCI note.
The inquiry panel’s recommendations were passed unanimously by the 10-member council. Prithivraj expectedly recused himself from the meeting. The inquiry panel was headed by council member Farokh Commissariat.
When asked, the FMSCI president said he has no knowledge of the ban imposed on him. “I have received no communication yet [on the ban],” Prithviraj said.
The three-year suspension for the FMSCI president is nothing short of an embarrassment for the sport’s governing body. “It is a clear case of conflict of interest. How can you be the president and a race official at the same time?” an official was quoted as saying.
The FMSCI has also banned event organisers Maxperience and its representative Arvind Balan for three years till December 31, 2022.
A Rs 5 lakh penalty has also been imposed on Prithviraj’s Coimbatore Auto Sports Club which will also not be allowed to organise a National Championship outside the city till December 31, 2022.