Staff Reporter

‘Organisations controlled by those with little interest in promotion of sports'

They are using posts for self-promotion: PIL plea

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Union Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry to file an affidavit on Thursday, giving details of the guidelines it issued earlier this month on the tenure of the heads of sports bodies.

On May 2, the Ministry modified the 1975 guidelines and fixed the number of terms of the presidents at three of four years each with or without a break.

A Division Bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta passed the directive while hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by an advocate seeking investigation of the accounts of the past five years of these bodies, and a directive to make them true representatives of sports-lovers.

On April 7, the Bench asked the Ministry to file an affidavit spelling out the measures it had taken to ensure implementation of the guidelines which, among other things, stipulate that the heads of these bodies cannot continue for more than two terms. On the very same day, the government gave the names of the bodies whose heads are continuing in their posts for more than two terms, in violation of the guidelines. It said these bodies were public authorities, covered by the RTI Act.

The Bench also summoned the minutes of the meeting and the files relating to the decision taken by the Ministry to stay the implementation of the guidelines.

The matter will come up for hearing on May 19.

The petitioner, Rahul Mehra, said investigations he conducted 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 and were using their posts for self-promotion, and perpetuating their control over them.

Most of these bodies were headed by politicians who managed to remain in the public eye and use them as platforms to achieve their political ends when they were not in power, he submitted.

Surprisingly, these bodies had only a sprinkling of men and women who had sweated it out in both domestic and international competitions. These bodies were brimming with bureaucrats and politicians who had wittingly or unwittingly drifted the country's sports towards disaster, he said.