The Union Sports Ministry has been taken to court for not sticking to its own guidelines while allowing continued recognition for the All India Carrom Federation.

The civil writ petition filed by the secretary-general of the Delhi Carrom Association, V.D. Narayan, against the Union of India and the AICF was accepted by the Delhi High Court recently.

The petition has highlighted many irregularities in the Carrom Federation in terms of election of office- bearers, etc. and stated that the AICF did not meet the eligibility criteria of the Union Sports Ministry for retaining its recognition.

The petition questioned the election of an executive president apart from a president by the Carrom Federation. It also questioned the election for other posts such as assistant general secretary, senior vice- president, director (technical), director (media), deputy secretary (marketing).

It was mentioned that the government guidelines allowed election of the executive committee for the posts of president, vice-president, general secretary, treasurer and joint secretaries only while allowing flexibility of numbers for such posts according to the specific constitution of each federation.

It was pointed out that affiliation had been granted to Vidarbha and Hyderabad, apart from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, and voting rights given to the concerned units, which was against clause 3.10 of the government guidelines, which stated, “Only one State/UT Association from each State/UT shall be admitted as a member of the Federation.”

It was also stressed that the federation did not follow its own constitution on the subject as clause 5.1 (a) recognised only State/UT for membership, ruling out other units.

State elections

It was alleged that State associations such as Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and many others had not conducted elections for the last “15 to 20 years’’. The AICF, while responding to an RTI query on the subject, had mentioned that the records of the elections conducted by the affiliated units of the federation were maintained by affiliated units themselves and hence “such records are not available with the Federation”.

The secretary-general of the Delhi Carrom Federation had tried to bring to the notice of the Union Sports Ministry the irregularities in the functioning of the AICF in a letter dated, October 16, 2012, in which he questioned the validity of the Federation election held on July 22, but eventually took the legal recourse for lack of response from the Union Government.

It was argued that the Sports Ministry had suspended other federations such as archery, athletics and boxing for not following the guidelines, but had turned a blind eye towards the irregularities in the functioning of the national Carrom Federation.

The respondents of the petition, the Union Sports Ministry and the AICF were ordered to file a reply within four weeks by the High Court, while allowing any rejoinder before the next hearing scheduled on May 15.

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