Order passed while hearing an application by advocate Rahul Mehra on tenure of office-bearers

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to hold elections for its various posts of office-bearers as per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A. K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw passed the directive while hearing an application by advocate Rahul Mehra seeking a direction for implementation of the guidelines on tenures of office-bearers of sports bodies.

Mr. Mehra submitted that elections to IOA were likely to be held in October and there was a possibility that several office-bearers who stood barred from contesting it under the code might once again throw themselves in the fray.

On the likely impact of implementation of the guidelines, Mr. Mehra told The Hindu that incumbent president of IOA Suresh Kalmadi would be barred from contesting the election for the head of this body as he had been heading it for the past 19 years.

He said that following the Court direction on implementation of the guidelines, all those sports bodies’ chiefs who had been heading them for more than 12 years would be barred from contesting elections.

Modifying the 1975 guidelines on heads of sports bodies, the Ministry has fixed the terms of their presidents for three times of four years each with or without break.

Mr. Mehra sought implementation of the guidelines through an application in a pending public interest litigation seeking investigation of the accounts of sports bodies and directions for making them true representatives of sports lovers.

Mr. Mehra said that investigations by him had revealed that most of these organisations were controlled by persons who had neither the expertise nor any interest in the development and promotion of sports in this country and were using their position for self-promotion and for perpetuating their control over them.

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