NEW DELHI: Things are getting more complicated by the day for the Archery Association of India (AAI). A day after Delhi High Court’s directive to the sports secretary regarding the formation of a transitory committee, World Archery (WA) has gone ahead and suggested the names of the four members for the panel. These names have been proposed without consulting any stakeholder.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is not amused. “I have not got the court order and the matter is sub-judice. I have been informed that the order will be available by Tuesday. They were not represented by anyone in the court. So where did WA get the information from? I am wondering if they are playing a fair game,” said president Narinder Batra.
Rahul Mehra, whose PIL is being heard by the court, added, “The sports ministry has to follow court’s directive. They have to follow the law of the land and not what WA has said. It can so happen that the same four names may be proposed again, but the procedure has to be followed.”A source in the Union Minister Arjun Munda faction could not contain his surprise after seeing the WA letter. “They are not respecting court orders and following their rules. I do not understand how they have come up with these names. Who gave them the authority?”
The IOA chief is also baffled by WA’s attitude. “Supreme Court had already said that elections as per amended constitution should be held. But why is WA not listening to the court?”
Things will start moving only post the Eid holiday, with the next court hearing slated for September 6.
WA secretary general Tom Dielen wrote to IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta. He named Mehta, R Rajagopal (sports ministry), BVP Rao (former bureaucrat and president of the other faction), and Virendra Sachdeva (secretary of the Munda faction) for the transitory committee.
It will be headed by retired Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice BD Ahmad. Interestingly, his name was not included in the letter.“We ask the IOA Secretary-General to coordinate with the chairman to get the committee established as soon as possible,” the letter, in possession of this newspaper, read.The committee has been tasked with “creating a roadmap for AAI, a new election, and a constitution that respects both Indian Sports Code and WA’s constitution”. “This roadmap will have to be approved by WA for the suspension to be lifted,” the letter further stated.
Day-to-day activities will also be handled by this group. The main task at hand is overseeing selection of archers for the upcoming Asian Championships and Para Asian Championships. Both are continental qualification events for the Tokyo Olympics, and trials are underway in Sonepat.“If rapid progress is made and a clear roadmap is established by August, WA might conditionally lift the suspension by this month’s end,” Dielen said. That looks unlikely, to say the least!