CHENNAI: The Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Maharashtra Archery Association, which has among respondents sports lawyer Rahul Mehra and others, came up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The apex court instructed the concerned parties including the sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association to come up with the necessary documents within a week outlining all the objections with regards to the amended constitution following which the Archery Association of India (AAI) elections took place in December.
The opposition’s main objections were that according to the amended constitution framed by former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, who was appointed administrator of the AAI by the Delhi High Court, there was no provision for public servants to become office-bearers. This was not in accordance with the 2011 National Sports Development Code.
Some other points raised by IOA lawyer was regarding voting rights provided to associate members as well as the executive committee being made up of former archers.
Mehra pointed out to the judges why politicians should not hold posts in sports federations, arguing that former AAI president VK Malhotra was at the helm for 45 uninterrupted years and such things should not happen. He also put forward the example of the BCCI. According to sources, the petitioners had mentioned the World Archery Federation (WA) threats of derecognition as a point of argument.
WA had threatened to derecognise the AAI, but rescinded after president BVP Rao went to their headquarters to explain the situation.
The previous regime of the AAI had moved SC against the new constitution and the election process initiated by Quraishi. A bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and Deepak Gupta said, “Since the election programme has already commenced in terms of notice dated October 4, 2018, the same should proceed as per law uninterrupted”. It clarified that the result of the election will be subject to the outcome of this application.
“The grievance made in this application inter alia about improper amendments to the constitution can be considered at a later stage,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing to second week of February 2019.