IOA`s internal feud comes to the fore

Last Updated: Dec 27, 2011, 20:25 PM IST

New Delhi: The internal feud in the IOA on Tuesday came out in the open with its secretary general Randhir Singh and vice-president Tarlochan Singh engaged in a war of words over the controversial scrapping of Ethics Committee.

While Randhir Singh maintained that the IOA President V K Malhotra is fully authorised to form any committee, Tarlochan claimed that such a committee could not be formed without the approval of the general body.

Tarlochan said he was in favour of Ethics Committee and Arbitration Commission but wanted the general body to be involved in the entire process.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), in its General Body Meeting here on December 15, had disbanded Ethics Committee and Arbitration Commission, triggering a virtual showdown between the Suresh Kalmadi loyalists and faction against him.

Tarlochan today said that the general body was "unanimous" in scrapping all the committees formed in the last few months since it was not taken into confidence.

"No member was against Ethics or Arbitration Commission. All the GBM wanted was that it should be taken into confidence while taking such important decision," Tarlochan said.

Randhir, on his part, said the constitution of the sports body gave the president the power to form any committee or commission.

"I came to know that Tarlochan Singh has made a statement regarding the ethics committee. He is neither the President nor the secretary general of the IOA and is not authorised to speak," said Randhir Singh.

Randhir, who will step down from his post next year when his term comes to an end, said the President doesn`t need the nod of the general body to form any committee.

"They have not understood the constitution of the IOA. The constitution is clear on the powers of the president. He is fully authorised by the Constitution to form any committee or commission. He doesn`t need any permission from the general body to do so," he said.

"The IOA is firm that the president is fully within his rights to form a committee or commission. He doesn`t need any body`s advice."

Randhir had criticised the disbanding of the Arbitration Commission and Ethics Committee yesterday, saying it may attract International Olympic Committee`s ire and will bring bad name to the country, already sullied by the Commonwealth Games corruption scandal.

Tarlochan said a "canard" has been spread that IOA does not want these commissions.

"We are all in favour of having such commissions but with the approval of General Body. IOA is a democratic institution and has to function under its constitution. All major decisions need the approval of the house," he said.

"What happened on December 15 GBM was that it did not ratify formation of some of the committees which were formed without its approval. There is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about it," he added.

PTI