National Sports Federation (NSF) chiefs were up in arms against the Government regulation to limit their tenure, saying they would move Supreme Court to thwart the move.
The Sports Ministry today modified a 1975 regulation which seeks to end the prolonged reign of a number of politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats who have been running the NSFs for more than a decade.
The regulation means Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi and several NSF chiefs including V K Malhotra (archery), Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (cycling), V K Verma (badminton), captain Satish K Sharma (aero club) and B S Adityan (volleyball) cannot seek a re-election after their present term expires.
While Kalmadi could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, Malhotra termed the move as “ridiculous” and said IOA, of which he is also the senior vice president, could go the Supreme Court if the Delhi High Court, which is hearing a PIL in the matter, rules in favour of the government.
“It is a ridiculous decision. These guidelines first came out during emergency in 1975 and court had issued notice asking under what law the government was to implement them.
“They were never implemented and after 35 years they have been brought in now, that too in a year when India is hosting Commonwealth Games,” Malhotra said.
The regulation suggests NSF Presidents cannot continue beyond 12 years, with or without break, while a Secretary or a Treasurer can serve two terms of four years each and can seek a re-election only after taking a four-year break.
“I have spoken to Kalmadi and have asked to call an IOA Executive Committee or office bearers’ meeting very soon. It will be in two or three days’ time. I have suggested to him if Delhi High Court decides in favour of government IOA should go to Supreme Court,” he added.
Malhotra, who has been Archery Association of India chief for more than three decades, said India could face action from the International Olympic Council and Olympic Council of Asia if the Ministry order is implemented.
“IOC and OCA don’t allow government interference and may take action if they come to know this. Commonwealth Games Federation members are now here and it’s the most inopportune time to take the decision,” Malhotra said.