rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Friday deadline for IOA to reply to Ministry's show-cause notice

Friday deadline for IOA to reply to Ministry's show-cause notice

December 29, 2016 21:15 IST

The Sports Ministry in its notice said that under "the terms and conditions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011, recognition to a sports body may be withdrawn, inter-alia, for...not functioning in the best interest of development of sports".

The Indian Olympic Association has been given time till Friday to reply to the show-cause notice issued by Sports Ministry which has threatened derecognition of the sports body if it does not reverse its decision to appoint scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as Life Presidents.

Kalmadi and Chautala were elevated to the honorary position at the IOA's Annual General Meeting in Chennai on December 27, shocking the Indian sporting landscape and leaving the Sports Ministry fuming.

As the storm gained in intensity, Kalmadi was the first to step aside, on Wednesday.

But Chautala refused to follow suit though he said that he is ready to relinquish the post only if the International Olympic Committee has reservations about it.

He has asked IOA president Narayanswami Ramachandran to discuss the matter with the IOC.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel said that it will severe ties with the IOA if the controversial decision is not overturned.

"Charges have been framed by court against Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Chautala. In the General Body Meeting of IOA held on 27-12-2016 at Chennai, a resolution was passed to appoint Shri Kalmadi and Shri Chautala as Life Presidents. And therefore, persons who cannot contest elections for any post in the IOA have been appointed as Life President of IOA, which in spirit is violative of both IOC's conditionalities and IOA's own constitution," the notice said.

"In view of the above, the IOA is asked to show cause as to why IOA should continue to be recognised as the NOC and government support/assistance of all nature should not be stopped when it has failed to conform to the basic principles of ethics and good governance, violated the directive of the IOC and violated its own rules and thus has adversely impacted the standing and prestige of the country.

"Your reply should reach the office of the undersigned latest by 17.00 hrs of 30 December 2016, failing which it would be construed that you have nothing to say in the matter and action will be taken accordingly," the ministry notice said.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel said that he has no personal issues with Chautala but was forced to take such a step for the good of Indian sport.

"There is nothing personal against them. Mr. Chautala has been chargesheeted in a few cases. The ministry was forced to take such a step," Goel said.

"What the IOA has done is totally unacceptable. They have not adhered to the charter of IOC and had bypassed their own rules. They have also not followed National Sports Development Code. We had recognised the IOA thinking that they will follow the principles of ethics and good governance," he said.

"I hope good sense will prevail and these decisions are withdrawn. IOA should follow good governance and ethics," the minister added.

The Sports Ministry in its notice said that under "the terms and conditions of the National Sports Development Code, 2011, recognition to a sports body may be withdrawn, inter-alia, for...not functioning in the best interest of development of sports".

The notice quoted relevant provisions of the IOA (and IOC's approval of the IOA Constitution subject to ratification by IOA General Assembly of these provisions) which state that chargeframed persons cannot contest elections.

The ministry also said that under various decisions of the Supreme Court and High Courts, the IOA was deemed a public body and hence highest level of probity and transparency was needed in its functioning.

"The IOA as the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of India is bound by the provisions of the Olympic Charter, including adherence to the basic principles of ethics and good governance. IOA has been performing state-like functions in its capacity as the NOC such as selection and fielding of the national teams in Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games etc.," the notice said.

"...the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts have, in various judgments, maintained that national sports bodies, including IOA, come within the writ jurisdiction of High Courts under Article 226 of the Constitution of India because they perform state-like functions such as selection of national teams and representing the country in international sports events and forums," it said.

"IOA is a deemed public body in the light of its functions as the NOC....highest level of probity and transparency is needed in the working of IOA and IOA is required to follow proper, democratic and healthy management practices that provide for grater accountability at various levels and serve as an example for other sports bodies to follow," it added.

IMAGE: Sports Minister Vijay Goel

Photograph: PTI

© Copyright 2017 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.