The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Union Government to inform it about the mode in which it provided funds to various sports associations and federations as well as mechanism by which it exercised control over them.
A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta passed the order on a public interest litigation by a lawyer seeking investigation of the accounts of the past five years of these sports bodies and directions for making them true representatives of sports lovers.
The Bench also asked the Government to file audit reports of last year of these sports bodies.
The petitioner, Rahul Mehra, submitted 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.
Most of these bodies were headed by politicians who had successfully been able to remain in the public eye and use them as platforms to achieve their political ends when not in power, the petitioner submitted.
Intriguingly, these apex sport bodies of the country had only a sprinkling of those men and women who had actually sweated it out on playfields, both in domestic and international competitions, the petitioner alleged.
These bodies, without much exception, were brimming with bureaucrats and politicians who had wittingly or unwittingly drifted the country's sports-ship towards disaster. It was no coincidence that none of these bodies was headed by eminent sportspersons, the petitioner alleged.
The petitioner urged the Court to direct the Government to ask these sports bodies and their member associations to reorganise themselves and function in an accountable manner and in the interest of development and promotion of their respective sporting disciplines. If they failed to mend their ways, the Government should withdraw their recognition, the petitioner said.
The matter will now come up for hearing on April 7.