New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): The Delhi High Court recently directed the Centre to file the details of the elements of compliance including the Constitution of each of the compliant National Sports Federations (NSFs). The court said that financial assistance would not be provided to the non-compliant NSFs till further orders.
The Division bench of Justices Najmi Waziri and Vikas Mahajan issued the direction after perusing the affidavit filed by the Centre. The matter has been listed for July 26, 2022.
The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) stated by referring to the affidavit that 24 out of 48 NSFs are fully compliant with the sports code.
The bench said, "This statement by itself would not be sufficient. What were the elements of compliance examined by Central Government is not specified in the affidavit."
"Let details of the same be filed before the next date, along with records as may be available, including the constitution of each of the said compliant NSFs" the bench ordered on July 20.
The bench granted time to the petitioner Rahul Mehra to file a reply on the affidavit.
The bench said, "Each mandatory aspects of the sports code has to be complied with, which can neither be diluted nor whittled down."
"For example the minimum 25 per cent representation of eminent sportspersons in the executive committee has to be ensured. After all the NSFs are for the benefit of promotion of the sports and for the welfare of the sportspersons, " the court said.
The court further said, "It is in this context that the sports code stipulates that there should be a minimum representation of 25 per cent of the eminent sportspersons in the decision-making process. If the NSFs have so ensured and complied with the sports code, then such compliance should be placed on record. For continued recognition annual monitoring of compliance is contemplated in the sports code. At least one NSF should be shown to be compliant on all parameters for it to continue to receive government patronage, largesse and funds."
The petitioner Rahul Mehra submitted a checklist of compliances envisaged under the sports code for grant of annual recognition to NSFs. The list was handed over to Central Government standing counsel Anil Soni. The court asked him to file a response on the same.
The bench was apprised that the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games has been selected. It was also apprised that the Indian teams of various sports disciplines will be able to participate under the Indian National Flag in the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which start in about a week's time.
The court noted that it's also not disputed that travel expenses, accommodation, etc for the teams' participation in the Commonwealth Games will be funded by the government, under its supervision and management. In effect neither the Indian players nor the country are likely to suffer on account of non-releasing of funds to the non-compliant NSFs. Public money can be released only to entities which qualify for such funding. This is under examination. Relevant data is yet to be furnished.
Delhi High Court in the month of June had directed the Central government not to give financial assistance to National sport federations (NSFs) that are not complying with National Sports Code. The High Court had said, "no more monies will be expended nor any assistance be extended to any NSFs, till next date."
The Division bench had ordered, "Evidently there is no clarity or conformation as to which of National Sport Federations (NSFs) are fully compliant with the Sports Code. Therefore, in view of the previous orders of 26 May and 2 June, it would be only logical, prudent, legal and just that the government monies be not expanded on entities whose status in law is yet to be determined."
The bench directed that the Centre shall ensure that monies, patronage and other facilities to NSFs will be resumed, in particular, only when the NSFs comply with the Annexure 2 of the Sports Code, as well as in terms of the orders passed by the Supreme Court and by this court in related cases. (ANI)