Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Posted at: Sep 12, 2019, 7:26 AM; last updated: Sep 12, 2019, 7:26 AM (IST)

Archery body’s constitution is valid, rules SC

Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11

The Supreme Court clarified today that no amendments are to be made to the constitution of the Archery Association of India (AAI). The judgement will come as a big relief to AAI, which was placed under suspension by the sport’s global governing body, World Archery, for holding two separate elections on June 8, 2019.

The Supreme Court gave this judgement while hearing a Special Leave Petition SLP filed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which was challenging a Delhi High Court order dated August 9, 2019. In that order, the High Court had directed the Sports Ministry to make a transitory committee to run the day-to-day affairs of AAI in the aftermath of its suspension.

The High Court had deferred the issue of the AAI elections and had observed that “the question of whether the fresh elections to the executive body of the AAI should await the decision of this Court on the appropriate amendments to the Constitution of the AAI to bring it in line with the National Sports Code, will be considered by this Court on the next date of hearing”.

No amendments

Today the Supreme Court clarified that there cannot be any amendments made by the High Court to the AAI constitution as it had already finalised the constitution vide its judgement dated May 1, 2019.

Hemant Phalphar, who along with Shekhar Naphade, Hrishikesh Barua and Parth Goswami represented IOA, called it a victory. “Now the only option before the High Court is to direct the transitory committee to hold the elections of AAI in line with the constitution of AAI that was finalised by the Supreme Court on 1.5.2019. The order clearly says that amendments can only be made by the newly elected body of AAI,” Phalphar told The Tribune.

However, lawyer Rahul Mehra, who had filed a PIL on the issue, said that the matter is still pending before the High Court. “The Supreme Court has said that “our order is very clear Para 22 is the way things have to proceed”, and therefore and all issues are open before the High Court and we will leave the matter at that. They have also clarified that the committee has not be constituted by the ministry but by the court order,” Mehra said.

In its order on May 1, 2019, the Supreme Court had relieved the then administrator of AAI, Dr SY Quraishi, of his role and set aside the election that was conducted on December 22, 2018. It had also asked for fresh elections to be held and directed that a compliance report be submitted before the High Court after the newly elected body took over office.


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