The Sports Ministry on Thursday hit back at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for objecting to Its proposed National Sports Bill, saying the sports federations in India will have to conform to the law of the land.
Responding to a letter, in which the IOC warned the ministry against imposing the contentious age and tenure limit guidelines as it could lead to India's expulsion from the Olympics, joint secretary (sports) Injeti Srinivas said, the new bill was aimed at making National Sports Federations (NSFs) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) more accountable.
"You will agree that the NSFs receiving public funds must be held accountable to the public and function as public authorities. The High Court of Kerala, in a case related to the state cricket association, has ruled that federations are required to perform public duties by virtue of their offices, and, hence, are public servants," Srinivas wrote in the letter to IOC.
"The Apex court of our country (the Supreme Court) also refused to interfere with this ruling. Therefore, it now carries the force of law in our country. The Olympic Charter also makes it obligatory for the NSFs to conform to the laws of the land which includes compliance with court orders," he further stated in the letter.
The Ministry claimed that 31 sports federations have so far confirmed to the guidelines on age and tenure. "We expect that the IOA, as our National Olympic Committee (NOC), will see the wisdom of conforming to your standards on principles of good governance," Srinivas stated.
The IOC and ministry row, it is learnt, will also come up for discussion at the next IOC executive board meeting, which will take place on April 5 and 6 in London.