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Olympic State Bodies Demand Restoration of Voting Rights, But Probably Won’t Happen | More sports news

NEW DELHI: The meeting of the Indian Olympic Association‘s (IOA) office holders and the representatives of its member units with the Supreme Court-appointed a member committee of the former top judge, Justice L Nageswara Raoon Friday, hateful comments and personal attacks were exchanged here between the factions led by ex-IOA President Narinder Dhruv Batra and the current Secretary General Rajeev Mehta. It was followed by a passionate plea from the Olympic State Bodies (SOAs) to restore their voting rights, which is what the draft constitution of the IOA.
The marathon rally at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium complex, which started around 11 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m., witnessed some ugly scenes as a member of the Haryana state boxing association (HSBA) objected to the presence of IOA treasurer Anandeshwar Panday, who faces accusations of raping a handball player nationally at the meeting after he informed Judge Rao of Panday’s alleged past sexual misconduct.
Similarly, a member of the rival faction raised the matter in an FIR filed against Mehta in Gopeshwar municipality in Uttarakhand for financial irregularities. There were also other instances of accusations and counter-accusations by the rival groups, which threatened to negate the purpose of the meeting for which it was originally convened.
During the meeting, however, Judge Rao, flanked by his team of associate lawyers, patiently listened to the comments of the IOA officials, SOAs and representatives of National Sports Federations (NSFs), the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Sports Kunal and the original petitioner in the case, Rahul Mehra, to initiate the process to amend the IOA’s constitution and prepare the electoral college to hold its elections on or before December 15.
“We have heard the comments from the representatives and will deliberate on them,” Judge Rao said after the meeting.
On September 22, a bench led by Judge DY Chandrachud appointed Judge Rao to prepare a roadmap for holding the IOA elections and ensure a fair and development-oriented approach to the future of the Olympic Games in the country.
The common chorus at the meeting was to restore the voting rights of the SOAs, while also amending the age and tenure clause, as mandated in the 2011 National Sporting Code. But it’s unlikely that this time around, IOA officials would be able to repeat their old trick of 2011 when they granted voting rights to SOAs through an absurd voting pattern at their general house meeting, despite strong objection from the International Olympic Committee ( IOC).
“Once Justice Rao has finalized the draft amendments, they should, by court order, be deemed to have been accepted by the IOA General Assembly. If they try to hijack the process like they did in 2011, it will be contempt of court (SC’s order) this time,” Mehra said.
“At the Olympic state level, the sporting code does not apply. There are no age and tenure restrictions there and you can have any number of terms in office. These people then come through that specific channel. What you cannot do directly, you do indirectly, which is not permitted by law. This is also the same as bypassing the sports code because it is not allowed in the sports code, but you do it in the state body. That is why the IOC has also agreed this time and the Government of India is also on board that we will not let this happen,” Mehra added.



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