Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Government respects Sports autonomy

Sports Ministry withdraws observer for Hockey India elections
 Press Trust of India
New Delhi:  Abiding by the Delhi High Court's directive, the Sports Ministry on Tuesday withdrew its observer for tomorrow's much-awaited Hockey India elections.
In a letter, the ministry stated that it decided to withdraw its observer, SK Mendiratta from the poll process on the instruction of the High Court, which on Tuesday said IHF was the solely representative of the national game in the country and HI was a private body.
"The government election observer's presence at the Annual General Meeting of HI, which is scheduled to be held tomorrow, does not in any manner reflect government's endorsement of the election process or its outcome. However, in deferrence to Honourable High Court's directives, the government has decided not to depute the government election observer to oversee the elections," the letter signed by Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas said.
The government has also taken note that during the scrutiny of nominations for the election, HI took a stand that they were not bound by the government guidelines relating to age and tenure limits.

"The government is of the view that every National Sports Federation is fully bound by the government guidelines for it to function as an NSF and perform the public function of selecting the national team and deputing it for participation in international competitions," the letter said.
"In the present situation with two recognised NSFs in place for the promotion of hockey in India, only one of which namely HI, enjoying the required support of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the government will comply the directions of the High Court to obtain the co-operation of IHF and IOA and any other body that may have been set up to resolve the matter in the best interest of hockey in the country," the letter added.
The Sports Ministry's decision came after the Delhi High Court, earlier in the day, asked the government not to associate itself with tomorrow's election as HI was a private body.
The High Court said IHF is the sole recognised body for the game in the country as it had already quashed the government's notification for de-recognition of the KPS Gill-led sports federation.The High Court had on May 21 set aside the Centre's decision to de-recognise IHF and the Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) de-affiliation of the federation.

Level Field says: Wonder if officers or even heads from the Sports Commission or National Sports Council being present at National Sports Associations general elections is legal. Afterall these agencies are Government agencies.


Mr. Constitution said...

Uncle Tony, When one talks about autonomy of Sports body like the NSA or for that matter OCM for instance, I feel no body dispute that they can operate independently without consultation with a higher body.
Autonomy does not means independence like how the IOA and our OCM operate. They feel that no one should interfere with their decision in anything they do.
Sports body like OCM, NSA and NSC have to remember that Sports and the practice of sport in a human right, and it is also against human rights to prevent someone or body from participating in sports. Such sports body are answerable to the PUBLIC. Take the OCM for instance, in the Anti Corruption Commission Act (ACCA) there is a provision that states that they are a public body and are accountable for their actions and can be investigated.
The issue that is hot now is the age bar of 70 that India and even the National Archery Association tried to introduce to the OCM board.
You cannot use autonomy to defeat an argument when the Olympic Charter have set an age of retirement at 70.
My view, I feel the High Court is wrong, certainly the SC or the NSC can observe the going on in the NSA election like they did at the recent OCM General Assembly. Observer means exactly that not interfering with the NSA running their show.

Anonymous said...

Mr Constitution,

Does autonomy of the organization mean it can be above the law and regulation? Don't you think that these organizations are expected to be managed with accountability to the public and regulating bodies?

Mr. Constitution said...

Anon 11.57am. thank you for asking and The Malaysian Anti Corruption Act (MACCA) specifically have a provision to include Sports Body being accountable. Now Sports Body are defined under the Sports Development Act. OCM in all its glory and powers are still a Sport Body.
Following from that reasoning OCM is a public body and they are accountable for their actions to the public and not only their members.
Autonomy is certainly not independence, the Olympic Charter would like the National Olympic Association to have this autonomy to act freely without any political pressure. However in our OCM, that is not the case and I feel the autonomy that OCM and the IOA claims are over rated.
Get serious fielding an 82 years old by IOA Kalmadi against someone like Pragat , an Olympian that have served India. What do you call that?
Dato Sieh Kok Chi is 72 or 73, just look at the nonsense that is happening and you will know that it is not very far from India IOA.