On Friday, a Delhi High Court bench headed by Justices Najmi Waziri and Vikas Mahajan ordered the Central government to stop financing and patronising National Sports Federations (NSFs) that violate the Sports Code and judicial directives that govern their operations.
The Court ordered that funding resume only if these federations comply with the regulations, and that in the meantime, the aid provided to sportsmen through the Sports Authority of India (SAI) be ensured and expanded.
Non-compliant NSFs will also be notified that their recognition will be suspended.
After noting that there was little clarification as to which NSF was complying with the Sports Code, a Delhi high court issued the ruling.
As a result, it would be only rational, prudent, legal, and just if government funds were not spent on entities whose legal status is still being determined, according to the Court.
“Accordingly, no more monies will be expended nor any assistance be extended to any NSFs, till the next date. The respondent shall ensure that monies, patronage and other facilities to NSFs will be resumed, in particular, only when the NSFs comply with Annexure 2 of the Sports Code, as well as in terms of the orders passed by the Supreme Court and by this court,”The court said
The bench also expressed the hope that the entire compliance exercise will be concluded by the end of the month.
The High Court was hearing a plea brought by Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, who said that despite the fact that the Sports Code has been in place for more than a decade, many NSFs have yet to comply with the guidelines and are still receiving payments from the government.
As a result, Mehra took legal action against organisations that had disobeyed the Centre’s rules or judicial directions issued by the High Court and the Supreme Court.
On Friday, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Youth Affairs appeared in court and handed over a status report on five groups of National Sports Federations (NSFs) to whom the ministry had granted an extension of time to comply with the Sports Code.
15 NSFs have complied with the Sports Code, 6 NSFs have been granted exemption from certain provisions of the Sports Code, 3 NSFs Administrators have been appointed through judicial orders, 5 NSFs require minor amendments to their respective constitutions, and 17 NSFs require extensive amendments, according to the compilation.
Mehra questioned the report’s authenticity and gave up a tabular compilation revealing that at least 24 NSFs have supernumerary posts/persons in administration that are not allowed under the Sports Code.
The Court also emphasised that none of the NSFs had verified compliance with the Sports Code’s requirement that 25 percent of the management be made up of notable athletes with voting rights.
“The non-representation of sports persons violates the essential element and spirit of the regime of sports administration,” The court stated
The case will now be heard on July 20th.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra was there in person, with attorneys Chaitanya Gosain and Amanpreet Singh assisting him.
Standing counsel Anil Soni represented the central government. NRAI was represented by Aditya Vikram Singh, an advocate.