Tamil Nadu

Bench confirms order on keeping politicians, businessmen away from sports bodies

A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday confirmed a single judge’s January 19 order that henceforth only sportspersons and not politicians or businesspeople must hold positions such as president, vice-president and secretary of various sports clubs, associations and federations in the State.

Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy dismissed a writ appeal preferred by the secretary of Tamil Nadu Olympic Association and held that they did not find any infirmity in the order passed by Justice R. Mahadevan while dealing with a writ petition by discus throw champion S. Nithya.

The first Division Bench said that a detailed judgment giving elaborate reasons for its conclusion would follow soon. During the course of hearing of the appeal, the Chief Justice asked the appellant’s counsel why politicians, educationists and businessmen were interested in controlling sports bodies despite their busy schedules.

“There are obvious reasons. Crores of rupees are spent on winning the elections to the sports bodies,” he said and lamented that the office-bearers of these sports bodies stay in top class star hotels during tournaments while the sportsmen get only modest accommodation with inadequate facilities.

He said, the single judge was right in holding that sports bodies must be managed only by sportspersons. In his verdict, Justice Mahadevan had also ordered selection of athletes for district, State and national-level events must be done by a selection committee, comprising sportspersons, strictly on the basis of merit.

He had also made it clear that all selections must be done after implementing an online registration system and that every sports body in the State must publish on its website the details of funds allocated and the amount spent on each athlete for participating in such events.

It was further made mandatory for sports clubs and associations to disclose on their website the quantum of funds received from the Centre as well as the State government, apart from details of the money spent on the athletes for coaching them and for letting them participate in various events.

Making it compulsory for the sport bodies to get registered with the State government, the judge empowered the latter to initiate penal action against the clubs, associations and federations which select candidates on the basis of extraneous considerations.

Any complaint regarding nepotism, favouritism and so on must be disposed of within a week, he ordered, and suggested the enactment of a comprehensive law on the subject.

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 8:52:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/bench-confirms-order-on-keeping-politicians-businessmen-away-from-sports-bodies/article65357125.ece