New Delhi, Aug 18: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered status quo after being told by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) that the Delhi High Court appointed committee of administrators (CoA) has not taken charge of the national body, which is a member of the International Olympic Committee.
The IOA had moved the Supreme Court challenging a Delhi High Court order of appointing a committee of administrators (CoA) to run its day-to-day governance.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the IOA, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana that the issue is troubling the nation and the IOA is part of the International Olympic Committee. Mehta contended that according to the international committee an elected body should represent the association and if the IOA is represented by a non-elected body then it is treated as third party interference. “India stands 99 per cent chance to be suspended from any international Olympic event…,” said Mehta, adding that it is a matter of national prestige.
The top court said, “We ask parties to maintain status-quo…it is made clear that charge has not been handed over. List it before the appropriate bench on Monday.”
The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on Monday. Earlier in the day, Mehta mentioned the matter for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana. Mehta said in international sports circles such committee of administrators are considered ‘outsiders’. The top court agreed to take up the matter later in the day.
FIFA, the apex football body, has suspended All India Football Federation (AIFF) due to undue influence from third parties, jeopardising the country’s staging of the U-17 Women’s World Cup in October. The AIFF will not be able to play any international games until the ban is removed. Justice Anil R. Dave is also heading the CoA appointed by the top court for administering AIFF.
Earlier this week, the high court said in order to improve the ‘ecosystem’ of sports bodies and structurally reform them, and put the affairs of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in the hands of a Committee of Administrators (CoA) in line with a recent Supreme Court order.
The court also directed the Centre not to grant recognition or any facility to the Indian Olympic Association or any National Sports Federations (NSFs) if they refuse to comply with the Sports Code.
“…the legal regime apropos sports administration in India has to be implemented fully and effectively.
“Compliance with the Sports Code is non-negotiable,” a division bench of Justice Najmi Waziri and Justice Manmohan stated in an order.
As per the court order, now the Committee of Administrators — Justice Anil R. Dave, former Judge of the Supreme Court, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, IAS, former Chief Election Commissioner and Vikas Swarup, IFS, Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs will carry out the day-to-day governance of IOA.