The Delhi High Court today rejected Indian Olympic Association`s plea challenging the Centre`s power to legislate sports in the country through the guidelines of National Sports Code aimed at bringing transparency in the functioning of the sports bodies along with fixed tenure and age-limit for office-bearers.
A bench of justice S Ravindra Bhat and Nazmi Wajiri approved the National Sports Development Code, 2011, which barred more than 12 and 8 years of tenure for President and other office-bearers, including Secretary and Treasurer, for any sports federation with maximum age of 70 years to officiate.
The code also envisages to bring under Right to Information Act all National Sports Federations (NSFs) availing government grant and implementation of NADA anti-doping rules coupled with guidelines for holding fair and transparent elections to NSFs.
The code also calls for introduction of age fraud in sports.
The High Court dismissed the contention that sports was the state subject prohibiting the Centre from regulating national sports bodies.
“The court reiterates its conclusion that international sports and regulation of NSFs and IOA in respect of the matters which are subject to these proceedings, falls within entry 97 of the First List of the seventh schedule of Constitution of India.”
“The central government can insist upon adherence to these provisions, without the aid of legislation. It is also held that the Sports Code does not violate the freedom under Article 19 (1)(c) of the Constitution. Neither are its provisions arbitrary”, the bench said.