New Delhi, Jan 10:
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has revoked the decision to appoint scam-tainted former chiefs Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as its Life Presidents.
In a letter to the Ministry of Sports dated January 9, IOA President N. Ramachandran claimed that the national Olympic body has not passed any resolution to honour the controversial duo.
“In the Annual General Meeting held in Chennai on 27.12 2016, at the fag end of the meeting a point was raised by a member stating that IOA should nominate 2 (two) Life Presidents,” Ramachandran said in the letter addressed to Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas.
“As no notice in writing was received (within) at least seven clear days, as per the constituition clause VII (h), no resolution was put to vote and passed,” he said.
Ramachandran said that members could make proposals in a meeting but if it did not meet the provisions of the IOA constitution, it could not be assumed that the proposal had been approved and passed in the meeting.
“In the view of the above, since the proposal was not in accordance with the constitution, the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to the individuals concerned, members of IOA and to all is sincerely regretted,” Ramachandran said.
The IOA’s decision to appoint Kalmadi and Chautala as Life Presidents invited severe criticism from various quarters with the sports ministry issuing a show-cause notice before suspending the deemed recognition of the national Olympic body.
Following the suspension, the IOA has ceased to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives bestowed on it by the government as the National Olympic Committee (NOC). All government assistance, financial or otherwise, to the IOA has also been stopped.
However, following Ramachandran’s letter, Sports Minister Vijay Goel welcomed the IOA’s decision to reconsider installing Kalmadi and Chatala as Life Presidents.
“I have seen media reports that Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has cancelled the appointment of Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Singh Chautala as Lifetime Presidents of IOA. I am happy that IOA has reversed its decision which augurs well for governance of sports in the country,” the Sports Minister said in a statement.
“By reversing their earlier decision, which appears to have been taken in a hurried manner, IOA has complied with its own constitutional obligation and also with conditionality approved by International Olympic Committee (IOC). In the renewed circumstances, we look forward to partnering with IOA in making India a sporting nation.”
Kalmadi served as the IOA President from 1996 to 2011 and was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in a corruption scandal that cast a shadow on the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, but was later released on bail.
Chautala is a former chief of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) and his term at the helm of the IOA was full of controversy.
The Haryana politician served as the IOA President from December 2012 to February 2014 when the body was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for fielding charge-sheeted candidates at the elections.
The IOC also annulled Chautala’s election for a second term as the IOA chief. He too faced corruption charges.
Chautala is currently in jail over corruption in recruitment of teachers for government schools in Haryana. (IANS)