If the the Prime Minister can be above 70 then what is wrong in having National Sports Federation chiefs of similar age, asked Archery Association of India president Vijay Kumar Malhotra reacting sharply to the Delhi High Court's decision which limits NSF heads' tenure.
"The argument that I would like to present is, there is no tenure limitation for the Prime Minister of India, the other ministers, MLAs, MPs or chief ministers of the states. For that matter, even any other registered societies of the country this policy is not valid, then why should this be applicable to only the sports bodies?," asked Malhotra.
"If for good governance age below 70 is required then I would like to point out that our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is running the country at the age of 76. Most of the chief ministers of the country, including the Delhi CM Shiela Dikshit, are above 70 years.
"Even the Sports Minister of India M S Gill himself is above 70. So, if these people leave the post for good governance, then we will also leave."
Out of 62 National Sports Federations (NSFs) 24 bodies, including Athletics, Tennis, Boxing and Archery are not following government guidelines, the sports ministry disclosed on Tuesday.
The ministry came out with the list when the Delhi High Court directed the Centre to implement the National Sports Policy. According to the list, nearly 40% of the NSFs have violated the tenure term for the office bearers, fixed at a maximum of eight years.
The guidelines, issued on May 1 this year, also restrict tenure of the NSF presidents to 12 years and that of the secretary and treasurer to a maximum of two consecutive terms of four years.
Further, according to the guidelines no person who is 70 or above, can contest elections of a NSF.
The 78-year-old V K Malhotra is clinging to his seat for the last 31 years. Malhotra's tenure is the longest and is followed by Aero Club president Captain Satish K Sharma, who is in his job for the last 24 years.
Then comes Indian Olympic Association secretary general Randhir Singh, whose tenure is counting 23 years, followed by IOA President Suresh Kalmadi (15 years). Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has been the president of Cycling Federation of India for the last 14 years.
The All India Tennis Association had recently announced that it was ready to follow government guidelines.