In the wake of myriad legal tussles in the world of sport - ranging from federation elections, to broadcasting rights and trademark issues, some of the nation's top lawyers felt, the need of the hour is legislation that can effectively regulate and govern the sporting arena.
"The need of the hour is to set strong and lucid policies in place, to combat all legal issues related to sports," said Rahul Mehra, whose recent litigation against the national sports associations to adhere to the Sports Ministry's guidelines of age and tenure, has had a massive impact on the Indian Olympic Association. Backing him, Lalit Bhasin, president of Society of Indian Law Firms - the organizers of the two-day conference on sports law - said, "One needs to be familiar with the issues before tackling them and this conference is going to be a foundation for sports law in India."
All kinds of issues related to sports and law were discussed at the conference. Not surprisingly, the recent sexual harassment charges as well as debates over IPL broadcasting rights and advertising, dominated proceedings. "There is conflict and confusion because we don't have strong sports laws," said Desh Sekhri.
Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mukul Mudgal even felt betting, which is rampant in the country, should be legalised. "Betting in sports is a reality and there are various online sites where betting happens openly," he said. He went to say that it should be legitimized to keep an eye on the money involved, so that it can become a source of revenue and the circulation of black money can be avoided. "If betting on horses can be legal, why not other sports as well?