PIL in HC claims inaction by Centre against maladministration of sports bodies, including IOA

A PIL was moved in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday claiming “abject inaction” by the Centre with regard to alleged maladministration of National Sports Federation (NSF), including Indian Olympic Association (IOA), and challenging the decisions granting recognition to 41 sports bodies.

The petition by lawyer Rahul Mehra is listed for hearing before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan on Thursday.

Mehra, in his plea, contends that the decision granting recognition to the 41 NSFs are contrary to the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 (sports code), and “have been issued in a wholly arbitrary manner”.

His petition also contends that the Sports Ministry has failed to take appropriate action against the NSFs which are in violation of the sports code.

The plea, filed through advocate Chaitanya Gosain, further contends that the ministry granted recognition to the 41 NSFs, after the Supreme Court clarified that it does not need prior approval of the high court to take any decisions.

The Supreme Court’s September 17 order had come on the ministry’s appeal against a February 7 order of the high court directing that it be informed in advance by the government and IOA before taking any decision in respect of any NSF.

Subsequently, in October the ministry granted recognition to 41 NSFs, “including those that were refused recognition up to December 31, 2019 for being in violation of the sports code, and who were in violation thereof even on July 31, 2020”, the petition said.

Mehra’s plea seeks quashing of the orders granting recognition to the 41 NSFs, derecognition of the bodies in violation of the sports code and strict implementation of the sports code.

It also seeks directions to the ministry to grant recognition to entities only if they are in compliance of the sports code.