The National Sports Federations (NSFs) always reject the allegations of not being transparent. But when it comes to putting these claims into practice, the NSFs take their own time.
This becomes clear from the fact that only 19 out of 45 NSFs have fulfilled their obligations under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 even after the expiry of extended deadline.
According to information provided by the Sports Ministry, seven NSFs wrote back saying they needed more time to fulfil the obligation. While the Special Olympics Bharat proposed to appoint the same person as Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) and appellate authority, which the ministry turned down, the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) cited a pending case in the Delhi High Court as the reason for not becoming RTI compliant. The remaining NSFs didn’t even bother to respond.
The Ministry had issued an order on March 30, asking all affiliated NSFs that get Rs 10 lakh or more as grant to appoint a CPIO and an Appellate Authority (AA) as per the RTI Act. The NSFs were told that grant would be stopped should they fail to comply.
The ministry had initially set April 15 as deadline, but extended it by 15 days. By May 15, the NSFs were required to fulfil all obligations as per Section 4 of the RTI Act and provide information like tenure of the officials, number of their employees, their remuneration, powers of officials etc. However, only a few have complied.
Among the 19 RTI compliant NSFs are the All India Tennis Association, All India Football Federation, Amateur Boxing Federation of India, All India Chess Federation, Athletics Federation of India, Archery Association of India and Indian Golf Union. The prominent defaulters are Badminton Association of India, Squash Rackets Federation of India, Wrestling Federation of India, Indian Weightlifting Federation, Swimming Federation of India, Gymnastics Federation of India.
Though the Indian Olympic Association has appointed its executive director George Mathew as its CPIO, it has not yet appointed an AA.