CHENNAI: There seems to be no respite for the sports ministry and national sports federations (NSF). Just over a month after approaching Delhi High Court to quash the ministry’s decision to grant recognition to 41 NSFs through five affidavits, lawyer Rahul Mehra has once again moved court.
This time, too, he has appealed that recognition be withdrawn because of non-compliance with the National Sports Development Code.
In a petition dated 7.12.2020, Mehra pointed out that the sports ministry, while granting recognition to the 41 NSFs, had admitted that they were not compliant with the sports code and were given six months to amend their constitutions suitably. The petition requests the court to direct the ministry to not grant recognition to these NSFs unless their constitutions are fully in accordance with the sports code.
The sports ministry, while granting recognition for one year to most of the 27 NSFs (14 have been told to hold elections before December 31), had categorically stated that they have been given six months to bring their constitution in line with the sports code. Mehra has pointed this out too.
Seeking an urgent hearing, Mehra has urged the court to not just withdraw recognition of all errant NSFs but also stay the elections in 14 NSFs that have been directed to hold elections by December 31.
Boxing Federation of India postponed its elections supposed to be held on December 18 on Tuesday. Some federations like athletics and handball have completed their elections. Golf and bridge are set to conduct polls online this month-end.
In his petition, Mehra prayed that “pending hearing and final disposal of the application as well as present petition, stay the elections of the 14 NSFs… unless their constitutions are amended to bring them in line with the provisions of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.”
Mehra even requested the court to ask the sports ministry to issue directions to the NSFs to hold elections only after amendments are carried out “in consonance with the amended constitution.”
Mehra even suggested forming ad hoc panels if necessary, to conduct daily functioning of NSFs that are violating the sports code.
“..Pending hearing and final disposal of the present application as well as this petition, either SY Quereshi, or ad hoc committees formed by the secretary (sports) comprising the top five international prominent sportspersons of outstanding merit for each respective sport…until they are brought in compliance.”
Mehra had earlier filed an application in November. Interestingly, after the ministry decided to grant recognition to seven more federations, including equestrian, polo, motorsports, yachting and Special Olympics, this newspaper had pointed out that they need to put their house in order. The cases of these seven have not been included in Mehra's latest petition.