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"What Is The Need For Politicians In Sports?": Madras High Court Dismisses Appeal Against Single Judge Order For Appointments In Sports Associations

Upasana Sajeev
26 April 2022 11:00 AM GMT
What Is The Need For Politicians In Sports?: Madras High Court Dismisses Appeal Against Single Judge Order For Appointments In Sports Associations
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The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a writ appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu Olympic Association challenging a single judge order specifying that only sportsperson should be appointed as President or Vice President of the sports associations and organisations. Coming down strongly on the appellants, the bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha...

The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a writ appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu Olympic Association challenging a single judge order specifying that only sportsperson should be appointed as President or Vice President of the sports associations and organisations.

Coming down strongly on the appellants, the bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy highlighted the plight of sportspersons in the country. The court highlighted how worst facilities are given to sportspersons who represent the district, state and country and all the good facilities are given to politicians who accompany them and who have no connection to sports.

"What is the need of politicians in these events? Let them be a politician. They are coming to these events and taking away all the facilities that should be given to the sportspersons"

The court further asked why a person having any affiliation to a political party be appointed as the chairman, president or vice president of these organisations. When it is neither their profession or nor their expertise, what is the need for them to enter into this area, it asked.

The court also highlighted how a huge amount of money is spent for conducting election to the post or President and Vice President when this amount could be used for something else.

The court also stressed the problems that these sportspersons have to endure even at the level of coaches. The court also stated how some of these coaches should be booked under criminal laws for some of their behaviour during the events. 
"It's painful. You should try to find out the terms of selection of the team. What is the character of these persons. You'll be shocked. Not everyone is the same. But a majority are like that. And that is the reason why we're saying this."

Background

The challenge was made against an order passed by Justice R Mahadevan directing to streamline the functioning of Sports Organisations/ Associations/ National Sports Federations and its State Units/ National Olympic Association etc., including a mandate for an online registration system at all levels and laying down qualification requirements of functionaries at the helm of such Associations/ Federations.

The single-judge bench had instructed that the posts of President, Vice President and Secretary of every sports Association/Organisation/NSFs and its State Units, as well as important functionaries of such organisations, shall be held only by sportspersons.

According to the court, it must also be ensured that a minimum of 75% of the members of any such sports organisation shall be composed of eminent sportspersons who will possess voting rights. The court also mentioned that mere financial contribution does not entitle a businessman/ non-sports person to occupy the above-said offices.

The single judge was adjudicating the grievance of a sportswoman who alleged favouritism and nepotism from the Tamil Nadu Athletics Association.

Case Title: The Secretary, Tamil Nadu Olympics Association v. S. Nithya and Others 
Case No: WA No. 1202 of 2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 180
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