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Sports Code unacceptable for IOA polls: IOC

November 16, 2012 17:21 IST

The International Olympic Committee has rejected the decision to hold the upcoming elections of Indian Olympic Association under Sports Code of the government and made it clear that the polls will have to be held "exclusively" under the Olympic Charter and the IOA constitution.

The IOA-appointed Returning Officer, Justice (Retd) V K Bali had notified that the November 25 polls will be held under the Sports Code of government but the world body said that this was "unacceptable" as it would violate the Olympic Charter and autonomy of National Olympic bodies.

"... From a document signed by a member of the Election Commission on 5 November 2012 ... we have noticed with great concern that the so-called 'provisions governing the elections in the sports code of the Government of India' would be applicable for the IOA elections and would prevail in case of discrepancy with the provisions of the Constitution/By-laws of the IOA," the IOC letter said.

"As you certainly know from numerous letters we sent to the Government of India some time ago, this would be against the Olympic Charter and the fundamental principle of autonomy of the NOCs in their internal operations (including their elections) and, consequently, this would not be acceptable to the IOC/OCA," it said.

The strongly-worded letter was written jointly by IOC's NOC Relations Director Pere Miro and Olympic Council of Asia Director General and Technical Director Husain Al-Musallam and addressed to IOA acting president V K Malhotra and Election Commission Chairman S Y Quraishi.

The letter sought to insist on the IOC's stated stand against government interference in NOCs and asked those concerned to "make all necessary rectifications prior to the IOA elections".

"Therefore, we wish to make it clear that the IOA elections must be conducted exclusively on the basis of the Olympic Charter and the current Constitution/By-laws of the IOA, as approved by the IOC, without any Government interference in this process," the letter said.

"In other words, the sole governing rules for the IOA elections must be Olympic Charter and the Constitution/By-laws of the IOA currently in force, as approved by the IOC. We request that you clarify this issue immediately to all members of the IOA in order to avoid any doubt or misunderstanding on this very important matter," it said.

Justice Bali, also a member of the three-man IOA Election Commission, had earlier in the month given directions that the polls will be held under the Sports Code of the government while the constitution and bye-laws of the IOA would be used only as a supporting factor.

He had said that whenever there was a conflict in the provisions of the Sports Code of Government of India and constitution/memorandum/bye-laws of the IOA as to the process of the elections, the provisions of the Sports Code would prevail.

Justice Bali had taken into account Delhi High Court's order on September 13 in a pending case filed by a lawyer that the IOA elections "shall be held after compliance of the provisions of the constitution/memorandum/bye-laws of the IOA as well as the Sports Code of the Government of India".

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