Supreme-Court-appointed administrator Quraishi refutes AIFF’s claim of non-finalisation of draft constitution

S.Y. Quraishi  

Supreme Court-appointed administrator S.Y. Quraishi on Friday refuted claims of the All India Football Federation that he had sought more time to prepare the draft constitution of the sports body, saying the document has already been submitted to the apex court.

The AIFF had moved an application before the Supreme Court on November 21, seeking continuation of its existing executive committee beyond its term, claiming that the court-appointed administrators are yet to frame a new constitution to conduct elections.

The Supreme Court, in a 2017 order, had appointed a Committee of Administrators comprising Quraishi and Bhaskar Ganguli to formulate the constitution of the AIFF in consonance with the National Sports Code.

“It is completely wrong to say that we have not finalised the draft constitution. We have completed it in December 2019 and given to our lawyer who helped us out. He [the lawyer] has submitted it to the Supreme Court in January 2020 in a sealed cover as directed by the SC,” Quraishi told PTI.

“Many people know it and Bhaskar has gone home to Bengal as we have completed the task given to us by SC. We were to frame a constitution [of AIFF] in consonance with the letter and spirit of Sports Code. We have done that and our job is over,” the former Chief Election Commissioner, asserted.

The AIFF had told its member units that it approached the Supreme Court to allow continuation of the existing executive committee as it will not be able to hold elections next month due to the non-finalisation of the new constitution.

In that letter, the AIFF had said “the Ombudsmen [committee of administrators] filed an application on February 7, 2020 with the Hon’ble Supreme Court, seeking enlargement of time for submission of the Draft Constitution of AIFF”.

“Due to non-finalisation of its constitution in terms of order dated 10th November 2017 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, AIFF is not in a position to conduct the ensuing election, even though the four years term of the Executive Committee ends on 21st December, 2020. Therefore, the federation has approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide an application filed on 21st November, 2020,” said a letter written by AIFF general secretary Kushal Das and addressed to the presidents of all the affiliated member units.

The four-year term of the current executive committee, led by Praful Patel, ends next month and the AIFF has announced that its Annual General Body Meeting will be held on December 21.

Under normal circumstances, the elections will have to be held during this AGM with Praful Patel, who has been AIFF president since 2008, ineligible to contest as per the Sports Code’s tenure cap.

Quraishi said because of the COVID-19 situation, there might have been some issues in the listing of the case.

“Because of COVID-19, the Supreme Court was taking up only urgent cases initially. We were also thinking what had happened to the sealed document. “I think now, may be the case will come up soon,” he said.

The AIFF says it would wait for the directions of the Supreme Court and accordingly modify the agenda of the AGM. Under the Sports Code, the president of a national sports federation can hold office for a maximum three terms or 12 years. Mr. Patel, former Union Minister, served as acting president for one year after long-time head Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi suffered a cardiac arrest in 2008.

He took over as full-time president in October 2009 before being re-elected for the top job in December 2012 and 2016.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:08:54 AM |

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