Sports ministry takes on Kalmadi, limits tenures of office bearers

May 2nd, 2010 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) The sports ministry Sunday imposed limits on the tenures of office bearers of recognised National Sports Federations (NSFs) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) — as a result, some top politicians would have to step down after their present terms get over.
As per the latest regulations, announced Sunday, the maximum tenure of the president of an NSF, including IOA, shall be twelve years with or without break; and that for the secretary and the treasurer shall be not more than two successive tenures of four years each. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be eligible for standing for re-election to the post after a minimum interval of four years. There will be a retirement age of 70 years for all members and office bearers.

The ministry has modified a 1975 regulation and, according to it, politicians and bureaucrats who have been at the helm of different sports bodies like Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi and several others like Vijay Kumar Malhotra, of the Archery Association of India (AAI), and V.K. Verma of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) cannot seek re-election after their present term expires.

The ministry said the government’s past efforts to limit the tenure of the office- bearers of NSFs, including IOA, were unsuccessful due to strong opposition from the sports bodies on the ground that such action on the part of the government would be tantamount to interference with their autonomy, which is bestowed upon them by the Olympic Charter.

The ministry said it had modified the tenure clause, kept in abeyance by former sports minister Uma Bharti in 2001, to encourage “professional management, good governance, transparency, accountability, democratic elections, etc. in NSFs, including IOA.”

The original 1975 regulation introduced by the Indira Gandhi government had capped the tenure of the president, the secretary and the treasurer at not more than two consecutive terms of four years each.

“More importantly, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) itself, which is the mother body of all sporting federations, enforces limits on the tenure of its executive members, vice-presidents and the president, besides enforcing a retirement age of 70 years on all its members elected after December 1999. Hence, it is amply clear that the practice of imposing the limits on the tenure of the office bearers of sporting bodies is widely prevalent and internationally accepted; and is also one of the critical ingredients of good governance, which prevents development of vested interests in the management of sporting bodies, which perform critical public functions in the field of sports,” the ministry said in a statement.

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