All India Karate Federation moves HC to seek govt recognition

PTI| Updated: Oct 31, 2013, 11:02 AM IST

Mumbai: City-based All India Karate-Do Federation has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking a direction to the Centre and Indian Olympic Association to issue a letter of recognition, saying it is the only national sports federation for Karate in the country.

The petitioner also prayed that the court may restrain the Centre and the IOA from recognising any person or organisation other than the governing body of the All India Karate-Do Federation (AIKF) to represent the organisation.

The Union government, through its lawyers Parag Vyas and S S Kanetkar, informed a bench headed by Justice S F Vajifdar, on October 29 that so far it had not recognised any person or organisation other than the petitioner for Karate sport.

In view of the stand taken by the Centre, the court felt that it was not necessary to grant the interim reliefs as sought by the petitioners.

The counsel for petitioner, Mayur Khandeparkar, relied upon a certificate dated July 15, 1993, issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development stating that for each sport, the government had recognised one federation for promotion of that sport at the national/international level.

The certificate stated that the petitioner has been recognised by the Union government since June 15, 1987, as the said Federation. The certificate also said it was advisable to check the latest position on recognition from the department as the continuation of recognition is subject to following the government guidelines by all sports federations.

Khandeparkar also cited a communication dated September 7, 1999, issued by the World Karate Federation (recognised by the International Olympic Committee), addressed to the general secretary of the petitioner confirming that it was the only recognised federation from India.

The communication further said the petitioner was also a member of Asian University of Karate-Do organisations.

The petitioner`s lawyer also cited a communication dated December 14, 2011, addressed by IOA to AIKF, stating it had accorded recognition to the petitioner as the federation of Karate.

Rohan Cama, counsel for one of the respondents Bharat Sharma, said Karate Association of India (KAI) is now the recognised body for the said sport in India. He relied upon an invitation issued by Spanish Karate Federation to KAI to participate in the 8th World Karate and Jr Championships to be held in Spain from November 7 to 10 this year.

However, the court felt mere invitation does not establish KAI is recognised by Central government.

"This letter is written by the Spanish body for Karate.

It cannot possibly mean that the recognition is conferred by the respondent (Government of India). Whether the government choses to act upon the same or not is a different matter with which we are not concerned presently, especially in view of the stand taken by the Union of India before us," said the Judges.

Khandeparkar strongly opposed the letter (referred by Cama) being taken on the record at this stage.

However, the bench observed the letter, prima facie, does not affect the petitioners` contentions for the same as it is issued by an international body and is not binding on the Union of India.

The counsel for the Centre tendered a letter dated October 25, addressed to him by the government.

The letter, inter-alia, stated that the management of the petitioner has to be approved by the Charity Commissioner (respondent No 3) and not by the Ministry.

The letter further said the Ministry has sought a detailed report from respondent Indian Olympic Association and World Karate Federation, who in 2010 had recognised the petitioner "headed by" Thiagrajan as its President. The letter said that the Ministry continued to support the management of the petitioner as recommended by IOA and WKF.

The matter will be heard for admission on November 22.

Meanwhile, the court clarified that this order did not restrain any other Association from sending a team to Spain for the forthcoming Karate event.

That is a matter between any such Association, including the Karate Association of India, an International organisation, and Indian Government, the bench said.

Cama stated that entire expenses in respect thereof are to be borne by Karate Association of India to which the Judges replied, "we express no views in that regard".