New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed former apex court judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao to prepare electoral rolls, conduct elections, and amend the constitution of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said: “Former judge of Supreme Court Justice L. Nageswara Rao to take up the assignment to ensure a fair and development-oriented approach to Olympic sports in India.”
Noting that national games are being conducted after a gap of seven years, it asked Justice Rao to lead the election process so that elections are held by December 15, and also asked him to prepare a road map for amending the IOA’s Constitution. The bench said all logistical arrangements will be made available to Justice Rao by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and these will be reimbursed by the IOA.
The top court also allowed the IOA’s current Secretary General, Rajeev Mehta and Vice President Adille Sumariwalla to participate in the meeting with the International Olympic Committee scheduled on September 27.
Earlier this week, the apex court had said that it will appoint an independent person to run the IOA administration and also directed the Sports Ministry to interact with the International Olympic Committee.
The apex court had stayed the Delhi High Court order, directing the Committee of Administrators to take control of the IOA governance. The Sports Ministry had submitted before the court that it could lead to suspension due to third party interference.
On September 8, the International Olympic Committee issued a final warning to the IOA to sort out the governance issues and hold elections by December. It told IOA, if it fails, then it would ban India.
After the ouster of Narinder Batra as IOA President, the IOC’s executive board, which met in Lausanne (Switzerland), decided not to recognise any acting/interim President, and said it will deal with Mehta as the main point of contact.