THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Assembly approving the Kerala Sports Amendments Act, 2018, on Tuesday, the new State Sports Council will be elected on February 9. Elections to the District Sports Councils will be held on January 11.
The new legislation, which passed in the House amid Opposition uproar over Sabarimala, has a number of amendments, including election to sports councils, age-limit for office-bearers and setting up of an Appellate Authority.
“Unlike earlier, there will now be a five-tier Sports Council structure – state, district, corporation, municipality and grama panchayat. Instead of the existing practice of nominating office-bearers, the new legislation proposes holding elections to sports councils. Based on this, voters lists are being published,” Sports Minister E P Jayarajan told reporters. The new legislation also proposes an age limit of 70 years and a maximum tenure of 10 years for council office-bearers.
“The legislation is part of the move to prevent vested interests from coming up under the cover of sports associations. Now onwards, office-bearers will be elected from among members. Another amendment is about the representation of MLAs and local body representatives in councils,” said Jayarajan.
The amendment makes clearance from the Sports Council mandatory for unaccredited sports associations to conduct district and state level sports events. This aims at preventing paper organisations from conducting sports events. The legislation also empowers the government to take over stadiums, playgrounds, open areas and swimming pools – built with government support – if they are not being run properly or are conducting events without the Sports Council clearance.
It also mandates setting up of an Appellate Tribunal to hear disputes between sportspersons, associations and sports council. The tribunal will have an individual, qualified to be appointed as District Judge, as chairman in addition to law secretary and a sports expert as members.
Keeping in mind the 2024 Olympics, the government is taking special efforts to groom sportspersons in 11 sports events, Jayarajan said. The government has also decided to earmark one per cent reservation to sports persons in appointments through PSC.