HC directs Archery Association to hold poll as per sports code

Updated: Sep 17, 2012, 19:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Archery Association of India to hold its slated September 29 election for various posts as per the National Sports Development Code, which renders its incumbent 80-year-old President V K Malhotra ineligible to run the poll.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also asked the Sports Ministry to issue instructions to AAI to enforce the sports code while holding the election.

"The Centre and the Archery Association of India (AAI) are directed to ensure that the election for various posts to be held as per the National Sports Development Code," the bench said.

The court further said it would pass its order later on the plea to appoint a retired high court or Supreme Court judge as the returning officer for the forth coming election of the sports body.

Besides rendering a person older than 70 years ineligible to run the poll for a sports body office, the sports code also stipulates that no person elected to any office consecutively for three terms with each term being of four years would be eligible to run the poll.

Seeking enforcement of the National Sports Development Code (NSDC) in the AAI election, petitioner-cum-advocate Rahul Mehra told the court that AAI incumbent president and senior BJP leader Malhotra has been holding the office for last 37 year.

Arguing on his plea seeking judicial intervention to rid the sports bodies of the country of various maladies, Mehra said the AAI had held its last election in February 2008 and it should have held its latest election in February this year.

Alleging that AAI President Malhotra is instrumental for not holding the election, Mehra said "V K Malhotra is not conducting the election as he would be ineligible to contest the next election of AAI."

The lawyer also sought the court's direction to the centre to de-recognise the sports body if it failed to conduct the poll as per the sports guidelines.

Last week, the court had also directed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to hold the election as per the government's sports code.

The order virtually barred IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi from seeking his re-election as the sports body president.