By Vivek Prabhakar Singh
New Delhi [India], December 11 (ANI): The Indian Olympic Association’s situation is in complete jeopardy. The election which was supposed to take place on the 19th of December 2021 is highly unlikely until a further hearing on the 15th of this month at the Delhi High Court.
Two factions from IOA were representing the Association where one was of Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and the other one was of President Narinder Batra and there were lawyers representing from both the sides as well as there were lawyers representing various NSFs and state Olympics Associations. Despite so many lawyers, the IOA has not been able to convince the court to get the election done on the 19th of December.
“Well, the situation remains the same. The stay had already been granted in the elections of the IOA because of various issues I had highlighted in my application. The matter was already going on as far as final arguments are concerned. Currently, the IOA lawyers both from the Secretary and President have addressed the court. The further argument is on 15th December,” told petitioner Rahul Mehra to ANI.
He further said, “The status quo has been maintained so on 19th December there will be no elections. Different parties had come to the court one is Mehta faction which doesn’t want elections because they probably don’t have the numbers. One is the Batra faction which wants the elections because the entire election has been doctored in a certain way. There are various other issues that I have highlighted which are contrary to the sports code, IOC charter, law of the land being the Supreme Court judgment, and the various affidavits by the Union of India.”
“The order continues till further orders. The detailed reform process will hopefully kick in fast. These reforms have been pending for the last 10 years and I dare say since 1975 which is the last 50 years. Hopefully once and for all everything will be sorted as players’ representation will be there, the electoral process will be sorted. State Olympic Associations who are completely defunct bodies will not be there. One way or the other the issue will be sorted,” added Mehra.
The Division bench of the Delhi HC comprising Justice Manmohan and Justice Najmi Waziri has heard the entire matter and they have blamed the IOA office bearers for the entire mess. IOA faced suspension from IOC in 2014 and they requested the court to take a decision keeping India’s image in mind.
“This is the last resort of these people when no argument impresses the court then they play the national card and the court very rightly caught them on the wrong foot. The court was very clear that the entire menace is their creation. According to the court ‘, Problem solvers cannot be problem creators.’ They said that they should stop looking into their petty vested interest. In case the IOC suspends or Indian players are not playing under the Indian flag. Once the matter is brought into court the court will adjudicate. So, do not blame the courts you are the one to be blamed,” said Mehra.
The message from the Delhi HC is clear that the IOA will have to undertake the reforms as per the National Sports Code or they might have to face the consequences. With so many factions in the Association, one thing is clear that the IOA office bearers will have to first get their own house in order first or the Indian sports will suffer immensely. (ANI)