Defence Minister and original Mr Clean A K Antony is set on sweeping out corruption from sports bodies.
At a time when Indian sports federations are reeling under factionalism and nepotism unleashed by politicians and bureaucrats, Antony has stepped in with the broom.
In Indian sports bodies, a chosen few office-bearers, many of them bureaucrats and politicians, enjoy extended tenures.
The Delhi High Court in April 2012 had said that since government servants are supposed to discharge official duties with commitment and devotion, their association with sports federations should be minimal.
Taking a cue, the Defence Ministry has asked all three forces — Army, Air Force and Navy — to ensure that they play by the same rules when it comes to holding elective offices in sports federation.
Several armed forces personnel are office bearers of sporting bodies; including the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, All India Tennis Association, Rowing Federation of India and Yachting Federation of India.
The Defence Ministry’s letter dated March 14, 2013, accessed by Express, reveals that a number of serving officers are occupying positions in sports associations — at the national, state and district levels. However, these officers are governed by Army Rules 1954, and not by the Central Civil Services (CCS) conduct rule.
Now, the ministry wants to bring uniformity by amending the existing rules in all three forces and has asked service headquarters to formulate similar guidelines regulating other civilian departments of the government.