The Union Sports Ministry has constituted a 12-member working group to rework the existing draft sports code to make it more relaxed.

The 12-member group will be headed by retired Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana Mukul Mudgal. The other members are advocate Rahul Mehra, lawyer Vidhuspat Singhania, shooter and Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, journalist Boria Mazumdar, Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra, president of Clean Sports India BV.P. Rao, former SAI DG Sayan Chatterjee, Viren Rasquinha of Olympic Gold Quest, the Union Sports Director and Joint Secretary of Sports, and Mitali, the legal assistant of Justice Mudgal.

The group has to submit the revised draft Bill by May 31 and the draft rules by August 31.

The working group will prepare a revised draft of the National Sports Development Code 2011 and also draft rules to be formulated under the revised Code.

Sports secretary P.K. Deb said that since the NSFs were registered societies, they have the autonomy to govern their affairs.

“Since the government provides financial assistance, we have the right to seek an audit of their expenses.

“However, for federations that do not seek financial assistance, there may be the possibility of some provisions being non-binding.

“For the rest, government assistance can be conditional to accepting the relevant provisions,” Deb said, adding that the group was not under any compulsion to accept the suggestions.

Since sports is a State subject under the Constitution, the group will also look into the requirement for a separate Sports Development Bill for the States.

It will also explore the possibility of constituting new bodies — like a Sports Election Commission, a Dispute Resolution Tribunal and an Ethics Committee — and their powers to avoid long-drawn legal processes.

The group has also been asked to make specific recommendations on preparation of Electoral College and streamlining of State/District units of NSFs.

The Sports Bill was first drafted two years ago but, following objections from several quarters, was unable to even clear the Cabinet review committee.

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