Top officials of five National Sports Federations on Monday claimed Randhir Singh violated the Olympic Charter by approaching the government to seek clarification on his candidature for the president's post in the upcoming polls of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
The five top officials shot off a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge stating that Randhir, himself being an IOC member, violated the IOC Charter by approaching the Sports Ministry, which has been pressing for the application of the Sports Code in the elections.
The IOC, on the other hand, has rejected the application of Sports Code in the elections, saying that it violates the Olympic Charter and autonomy of National Olympic Associations, and directed the IOA to "exclusively" apply the IOC Charter and its constitution in the polls.
The five NSFs officials who have written to the IOC are Table Tennis Federation of India president Ajay Singh Chautala, Archery Association of India vice-president Tarlochan Singh, Ice Skating Association of India president Bhavnesh Banga, Kho-Kho Association president Rajeev Mehta and secretary of Indian Weightlifting Federation Sahdev Yadav.
"... IOC member in India Mr. Randhir Singh is violating your instructions and IOC Charter approaching Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India on 14 November 2012 to seek clarification on his own candidature as per National Sports Code," Ajay, brother of IOA presidential candidate Abhay Chautala, said in his letter to the IOC chief.
"Since he (Randhir) had a fear that being the secretary general of IOA for five consecutive terms, he may be declared ineligible for the post of president. This act of Mr. Randhir clearly states that he believes and supports the National Sports Code formulated by the Government of India," he wrote.
Ajay Chautala urged the IOC chief to look into the matter and act accordingly.
"He (Randhir) filed his nomination for the post of president IOA knowing well that elections are being held as per the IOA Constitution and National Sports Code, wherever it is applicable in case of elections. IOC may now consider this whole issue and act of Mr. Randhir Singh as violation of your instructions as well as the Olympic Charter."
Randhir had sought a clarification from the Sports Ministry in a letter dated November 14 on whether he can contest the elections or not.
"... the provisions of the National Sports Development Code 2011 does not specifically debar a person who has held two (or more) terms as secretary general to contest for the post of President," the ministry had said in its reply.
"The matter is, however, subjudice, and is part of the pleadings in court in C.M. No. 6791 of 2012 in Civil Writ Petition No. 195 of 2010. The views of the government have been communicated to the High Court," the letter from the ministry to Randhir said.
Ice Skating Association of India president Bhavnesh Banga said in his letter to Rogge that Randhir filed his nominations for the post of IOA president after the Election Commission notification mentioned that the polls would be held as per Delhi High Court orders.
"It is surprising to note that when the three-member Independent Election Commission notified the election, they clearly mentioned in their notice that the election would be held as per the order of the court. Inspite of that Mr. Randhir Singh filed his nomination and sought clarification from the Government on certain clauses of the court, which clearly proves that he himself has accepted the National Sports Code as the IOC Member and filed his nomination.
"Now, when he knows that he is going to lose the election, he is managing the letter from the IOC that election should be conducted as per the IOA Constitution and the IOC Charter but not as per the National Sports Code," Banga alleged in his letter to the IOC president.
Photograph: David Grey/Reuters