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Status quo ordered by Supreme Court on handing over charge of Indian Olympic Association to temporary CoA

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A status quo has been ordered by the Supreme Court with respect to the Delhi High Court judgment by which a Committee of Administrators (CoA) was appointed to handle the affairs of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) till the election of a new Executive Committee.

The bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana and Justice CT Ravikumar on Thursday ordered that CoA should not be handed over the charge of IOA for the time being.

The Court said, “The charge will not be handed over to the CoA appointed by the Delhi High Court. List on Monday.” 

After the Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta made an urgent mentioning of the matter stating that handing charge of IOA to a CoA will be considered as third party interference by the international body, the court took the decision and passed the order.

The Solicitor General said, “This is an important national issue. This is Indian Olympic Association and it is the unit of International body. As per their rules if a national level body is represented by a non elected body, it will be treated to be third party interference. We are bound by their rules.”

Mehta apprised the Court that whenever a CoA takes over there is always a 90 percent chance of India being suspended from any Olympic event.

As the Court noted that by virtue of High Court’s order there is a possibility of losing chances of participation in Olympics and all international events and, thus decided to order status quo.

On August 16, the Delhi High Court appointed a CoA comprising former Supreme Court judge, Justice Anil R Dave, former Chief Election Commissioner Dr SY Qureshi and former foreign secretary Vikas Swarup.

The HC Division Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Najmi Waziri had directed the IOA Executive Committee to hand over charge of the association to the CoA which was also given the duty of preparing and adopting a new Constitution as per the Sports Code and court rulings and conduct of elections within 16 weeks.

The Centre Government was directed by the High Court not to grant recognition or any facility to the IOA or to any National Sports Federation (NSF) or any of its affiliated associations if they don’t comply with the Sports Code as directed.

The High Court had clearly said it is about time that structural reforms are implemented to remove the mismanagement in sports bodies along with democratizing these institutions.

The High Court said that though the logical corollary to the discussion in the judgment would be that IOA would disqualify itself from retention of its recognition as a sports federation because of non-compliance with the Sports Code and the law of the land, the IOA’s recognition will not be disturbed, for the duration that the COA assists in bringing IOA’s affairs in order.

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