Close on the heels of the International Boxing Association provisionally suspending the Indian federation, the Sports Ministry also suspended recognition to the IABF, citing "flawed and faulty" elections.
This was announced by the Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, who said the IABF election, held in September, was in "violation of the procedure laid down in the Sports Code".
The Sports Ministry has also derecognised the Archery Association of India [ Images ] (AAI) with immediate effect.
It said the AAI violated the age and tenure restrictions prescribed in the Sports Code. The president-elect of the Archery Association of India has served for more than three consecutive terms in the past and is also above the age of 70 years.
"IABF has been suspended primarily on grounds that elections were flawed and faulty and the nomination time given was very less. When the nomination did not come in, people were just picked from the house. We have given them 15 days time to confirm that they would hold a re-election," said the minister.
The September elections saw incumbent president Abhay Singh Chautala being nominated chairman, replaced by his brother-in-law and BJP MLA from Rajasthan [ Images ] Abhishek Matoria, 29, as president.
The ministry listed the flaws in the election in a detailed statement.
"The publication of the electoral roll was flawed because it was not possible for the electoral roll to be dispatched to members by post prior to the last date for filing of nominations and merely publishing on the website is not considered sufficient notice or information to all members," it said
"Members were not given sufficient time to file nominations as the gap between the finalisation of the electoral roll and the filing of nomination was too short to allow people to travel large distances and file nominations personally," the ministry added.
"Nominations of candidates were taken from the floor of the House on a date which was after last date of nomination and this is not permissible."
The ministry said the only way forward now is to hold the elections again.
"...the entire election needs to be held afresh. The government has to suspend the recognition of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation pending fresh elections.
"A notice will be sent to the IABF to confirm that they will hold fresh elections under independent supervision within a period of 15 days failing which the de-recognition will be made absolute," it said.
It is a massive jolt to the IABF which is already in a state of shock after being provisionally suspended by AIBA, which cited "possible manipulation" of the elections as the reason.
Singh said that boxers from India would not suffer as the Government of India will open a dialogue with the IABF to set in place interim measures so that the athletes are not affected.
Speaking about the dercognition of the archery association, Jitendra said, "The Archery Association of India held its elections on 09.11.2012. While the procedures adopted in the elections were in conformity with the procedures laid down in the Sports Code and common practice, the archery association has violated the age and tenure restrictions prescribed in the Sports Code.
"The President elect of the Archery Association of India," he said, "has served for more than three consecutive terms in the past and is also above the age of 70 years.
"The high court in its Civil Writ Petition No.195/2010 dated 15.02.2012 and 17.09.2012 had directed that the
government shall not grant recognition to the Archery Association of India unless they hold elections as per the Sports Code. In view of the directions of the high court, the government has no option but to withdraw the recognition of the Archery Association of India," the minister said.
During its elections last month, octogenarian BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra was re-elected president of the AAI for the 10th term, which means he will retain the position for an unprecendented 40th year, a gross violation of the age and tenure guidelines under the Sports Code.
The sports minister has advised the AAI to hold fresh elections for the post of president, in conformity with the Sports Code.
Jitendra also asked the AAI to amend its constitution to bring it in conformity with the Sports Code and the Olympic [ Images ] Charter.