This is news that could have ramifications far beyond the event itself. In a highly interesting interim order, Delhi’s Districts and Sessions Court has told the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) that officials cannot hold on to any position beyond two-successive four-year terms. After that, they would have to take a break for at least one four-year term from any post, before coming back.
The court, while asking the NRAI to continue with its object of staging elections, has dictated that even if elected, office-bearers cannot assume office till a final judgment is passed in the case.
The petitioner Raju Soni also told the court that, contrary to claims by the NRAI that they had made an amendment in 1993 to remove a restrictive two-term clause, no such amendment had been made since 1981.
An attested copy from the Registrar of Societies on January 12, 2009 validates this claim.
The NRAI has been given 10 days to file a reply. But NRAI secretary-general Baljeet Sethi told the Hindustan Times he believed it was “a wrong order”. “We have written several times to the Registrar to ratify the amendment but it has not happened. We have also cited the High Court order stating that the amendment should be ratified within three weeks. We will contest the order.”
The moot question here is will this order open a can of worms for veteran sports administrators, many of who are India’s top politicians?
Even though the constitutions of various sports federations would have to be examined separately to see if there ever was any two-term clause, it is common knowledge that most bodies are run by politicians who really cannot be opposed.
Some argue that the fact of their being politicians is the only reason that any work is done at all by them, but, on the other hand, India’s dismal overall record in sports is not really something to hold up as an example.