HC may rub it on
After forcing the Sports Ministry to limit the tenure of sports federation bosses, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday hinted that it would look into complaints of manipulation of electoral college by federation heads.
Appearing for the Sports Ministry, Additional Solicitor General AS Chandhiok submitted before the court that the Centre had taken a decision to implement the modified guidelines of 1975 pertaining to fixing of tenures of all members including presidents or chairpersons of all the recognised national sports federations.
He also submitted that 1975 guidelines and its clause relating to the tenure of the president, secretary and the treasurer was modified in 2001 but the regulation was kept in abeyance by way of "executive instructions". Chandiok said the modified guidelines had been implemented since May 1, 2010.
However, the IOA was adamant. "We will not follow the guidelines," said IOA secretary general Randhir Singh said on Wednesday. "We can not lose our autonomy. Also, according to the Olympic Charter, we do not fall within the ambit of judicial jurisdiction." Meanwhile, counsel Prashant Bhushan, on behalf of the petitioner, Rahul Mehra, raised another issue, saying there has to be an independent authority to decide the members of the electoral college while conducting the elections for the members. The court asked him to file an affidavit.
PM pledges to look into order
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pledged to look into the ministry order that reportedly “threatens the autonomy of the IOA and various NSFs,” IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said. Around half a dozen heads of NSFs like Praful Patel (football), VK Malhotra (archery), Digvijay Singh (shooting), Randhir Singh and Lalit Bhanot (athletics) and MPs associated with sports bodies visited the PM's residence and gave him a copy of the letter from the IOC.
“We have met the PM and briefed him about the issues that threaten the autonomy of the IOA and sports federations. We told him we did not like the timing of this order,” Kalmadi said. “I don't know why Gill did what he has done. He could have called and talked to us. He could have waited,” Tytler told HT.