New Delhi: A defiant Judo Federation of India (JFI) president Mukesh Kumar has refused to step down despite the government's directive, saying that his election to the top post did not violate the controversial tenure guidelines of the Sports Code.
The Sports Ministry last month asked Kumar to quit from the post for flouting the tenure guidelines of the Sports Code, which demands a cooling-off period of four years before a secretary seeks re-election after two successive terms.
Kumar served as the secretary general of JFI for two terms before taking over the post of president from Jagdish Tytler in August 2013. He was unanimously elected as JFI president during its annual general meeting in Imphal without serving the cooling-off period.
In a letter to the Sports Ministry, Kumar said that the provision of cooling-off period in the tenure guidelines was applicable to only a secretary/treasurer seeking re-election to the same post (secretary/treasurer) after serving two consecutive terms.
He said that the provisions will not apply to a secretary/treasurer seeking election for president.
"Judo Federation of India has received the letter dated 15/10/2015 from MYAS in respect of election of JFI held on 04/08/2013. I reiterate that my election to the post of the President of JFI is legally valid as per Sports Code, and as per the constitution of the JFI," he said.
"There shall not be any scope of ambiguity about intermingling the tenure of posts of secretary/treasurer with the post of the president. The is a cooling off period prescribed for the secretary and treasurer wanting to seek re-election to either of these posts after having held the office of secretary or treasurer for a period of eight years, there is no such prescription for the post of president," Mukesh said in the letter.
He said he will take legal recourse if the Sports Ministry still asks him to resign from his post.
"My election as JFI president was legally valid under the Sports Code and if the ministry still asks me to resign, then I will take legal recourse. Any decision taken by the sports ministry will have to be under the rules and the law," he added.
Mukesh also said that the application of the guidelines under the Sports Code cannot be applied with retrospective effect and rather it should have prospective implementation after the issue of the ministry letter on May 1, 2010.
"The earlier terms as General Secretary cannot be combined and calculated with the post of the president which is a separate post," he said.
"The mandate of modified guidelines dated 01/05/2010, which are applicable to the present context have been ignored and misconstrued, thereby defeating the entire intentions of the modified guidelines."
JFI is the second NSF after All India Tennis Federation facing the threat of de-recognition. AITA chief Anil Khanna has been under pressure for flouting the tenure guidelines of the Sports Code.
Khanna held the post of secretary general in AITA between 2000 and 2012 before taking over as president in October last year without serving the cooling-off period.