Modified tenure from May 1: Govt. to HC

New Delhi: The Centre today informed the Delhi High Court that the government has implemented the modified guidelines fixing the tenure of the members of all sports federations from May 1 this year.

Appearing for Ministry of Sports, Additional Solicitor
General A S Chandhiok submitted before the bench of Acting
Chief Justice Madan B Lokur that the Centre has taken a
decision to implement the modified guidelines of 1975
pertaining to fixing the tenure of all the members including
Presidents or Chairpersons of all the recognised national
sports federations.

He also submitted that 1975 guidelines and its clause
relating to the tenure of the president, secretary and the
treasurer was modified in 2001 but the regulation was kept in
abeyance by way of "executive instructions".

The senior law officer said that the modified guidelines
had been implemented since May 1, 2010.

Meanwhile, Counsel Prashant Bhushan on behalf of
petitioner advocate Rahul Mehra raised another issue, saying
there has to be an independent authority to decide the members
of the electoral college while conducting the elections for
the members.

Bhushan also sought court`s direction to all the sports
bodies for strict compliance of modified guidelines.

The bench also comprising Justice Mukta Gupta sought
an affidavit from the Centre about the implementation of the
modified guidelines and also a copy of it by May 19.

Earlier, the court sought an explanation from the Centre
for its failure to comply with the guidelines framed for the
election of sports bodies including Hockey India.

The petition had alleged the elections in various sports
bodies, including Hockey India are held without following the
guidelines, as a result of which the candidates contest the
election for more than two terms -- which was fixed under the
guidelines -- and retain the post for several years.

The Sports Ministry has modified a 1975 regulation that
means Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi and
several NSF chiefs including V K Malhotra (archery), Sukhdev
Singh Dhindsa (cycling), VK Verma (badminton), captain Satish
K Sharma (aero club) and BS Adityan (volleyball) cannot seek a
re-election after their present term expires.

The original 1975 regulation introduced by the Indira
Gandhi government had capped the tenure of the President, the
Secretary and the Treasurer at not more than two consecutive
terms of four years each.

The modified clause caps the tenure of the president of
an NSF, including IOA, to 12 years.

The row between the government and sports federation
bosses over tenure restrictions intensified yesterday with the
IOA warning that attempts to erode their autonomy might invite
a ban on India but Sports Minister M S Gill showed no signs of
piping down.