On Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea of the Jharkhand Olympic Association (JOA) seeking its nod to hold a special general meeting and asked it to wait for the Delhi High Court verdict on the issue.
A vacation bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi said, we are not inclined to entertain the Special Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution. The Special Leave Petition is accordingly dismissed.
During the hearing, senior advocate Rahul Mehra, who was on caveat contended that the division bench of the Delhi High Court has granted them the opportunity and had said that they need to take care of their house in the larger interest of the sports.
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The High Court has said that it is giving one final opportunity to resolve these matters, otherwise we will take the matter in our hands and we will decide one way or another. They were given the opportunity.
When there was the anticipation of some law and order situation, a retired judge of Delhi High Court Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw was appointed as an administrator for that particular meeting. In that meeting, all sorts of things happened and there was no resolution, they could not put their house in order, he said.
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Mehra assisted by advocate Anuj Tyagi said that the division bench of the High Court heard the matter twice a week for almost four months after which on April 12, the judgement was reserved.
We all are waiting for the judgement and these petitions are now coming, he said.
The bench then told senior advocate R Basant, appearing for Jharkhand Olympic Association, that it will not entertain this plea.
Basant tried to persuade the bench saying that long before the judgement was reserved, this application was filed and the only prayer in this application is that a special general meeting needs to be conducted.
Some pressing assignments need to be undertaken. Without the resolution of the association, these assignments cannot be undertaken. The issue which was raised in the PIL has nothing to do with these matters at all , he said.
The bench said, It is Ok. Mr. Bsant. We don’t want this whole process to be dislocated. The judgement has been reserved by the High Court. The judges will deliver the judgement after the vacation. We don’t want the Jharkhand Olympic Association to intervene. Let the High Court resolve the issue once and for all .
The High Court had on April 12, reserved its verdict on a plea filed by senior advocate and sports activist Rahul Mehra in 2010 seeking the adoption of a constitution by the Indian Olympic Association in consonance with the National Sports Code (NSC) and holding of elections of executive committees as per the model guidelines and the constitution.
In his plea, Mehra has submitted the Indian Olympic Associations (IOA) and the NSFs have to align their constitution/Articles of Association strictly in terms of the NSC and with the laws of the land, especially, as spelt out in the judgments and orders of the High Court and of the Supreme Court; while the IOA has to additionally conform to the IOC Charter in letter and spirit.
Mehra has claimed “abject inaction” by the Centre concerning the alleged maladministration of 41 National Sports Federations (NSFs) and the IOA.
On November 6 last year, the high court had asked the Centre to show that the 41 NSFs granted recognition in October were complying with the requirements of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.
It had directed the ministry to show that each of the 41 NSFs, which were granted recognition, have complied with every requirement of the sports code as these bodies are funded by public money.
Mehra had also contended that none of the NSFs which have been granted recognition have complied with the sports code.
The High Court had pointed out that the Supreme Court has on several occasions held that recognition cannot be granted to an NSF which is not complying with the sports code.
Mehra, in his petition, has contended that the decision granting recognition to the 41 NSFs is contrary to the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 (sports code), and “issued in a wholly arbitrary manner”.
The Supreme Court’s September 17, 2020, order had come on the ministry’s appeal against a February 7, 2020 order of the high court, in Mehra’s 2010 petition, directing that it be informed in advance by the government and IOA before taking any decision in respect of any NSF.
Subsequently, in October 2020 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 plea said.
The petition has claimed that the ministry spent nearly Rs 14,391.49 crore on sporting activities from 2009-10 to 2018-19, and nearly Rs 1,237.56 crore has been disbursed directly to NSFs, including IOA from 2009-10 to 2019-20 on the explicit, statutory understanding that they will comply with the sports code.