Supreme Court calls for fresh elections of AAI; president resigns

BVP Rao quits as Archery Association president

The Supreme Court has called for the fresh elections of the Archery Association of India while disapproving the earlier elections, which have seen BVP Rao being elected to the office of the AAI president.

Rao has tendered his resignation following the court order. He has reportedly sent copies of the resignation to the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and the world governing body for the sports – World Archery – at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“Yes, I have tendered my resignation as the AAI chief. I am resigning in protest because the Indian sports system doesn’t need a competent and committed administrator with integrity. The system doesn’t allow an administrator who wants to change the functioning,” Rao has told national daily Times of India.

“I received a call from my lawyer this morning that the Supreme Court has directed fresh elections in four-weeks’ time from the date of order issued, which is May 1, 2019. The Court has directed the AAI to function routinely until the fresh elections are conducted. The elections should be held as per the sports code. But I see no reason to continue in my post, so that’s why I have resigned. Let me read the entire judgment first and then we will decide the next course of action.”

The Delhi High Court-appointed administrator, former Chief Election Commissioner of India SY Qureishi had conducted the AAI elections, which resulted in Rao being picked for the office of the president of the national governing body for archery in December last year. Maha Singh was elected as the secretary-general.

Adhering to the Court mandate, Qureishi had also prepared the AAI constitution as per the revised draft of the 2015 sports code while taking some contents from the Lodha committee’s recommendations, apart from the original sports code of 2011.

The outcome of the elections and acceptance of the new AAI constitution was subjected to the Supreme Court’s approval. The sports ministry had filed an affidavit in the court highlighting certain grey areas in the AAI’s new constitution while rejecting to accept the outcome of the elections. Both the ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had refused to recognise the AAI as its affiliated member sports federation.

The World Archery (WA) had offered temporary recognition to the AAI till the court’s verdict as the matter became sub-judice.