Court dismisses ministry’s plea; NSFs’ fate to be decided on August 21 | More sports News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The fate of the country’s national sports federations (NSFs), whose provisional annual recognition has been put on hold following a Delhi High Court‘s directive, will be decided on August 21.
In a setback to the government, the two-judge special bench of the court, comprising of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Najmi Waziri, on Friday, dismissed the Centre’s plea seeking modification of its February 7, 2020 order, which had directed the sports ministry and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) not to take any decision on NSFs without informing the court in advance.
The bench, during the virtual hearing, maintained that the ministry’s application, moved by it late last month, didn’t warrant any modification of the order. The ministry had argued before the bench that “the court has been encroaching in the domain of ‘Executive’ and that its order amounted to judicial caveat in the administration which is not permissible”.
At the Friday hearing, the bench observed that if the ministry feels itself an aggrieved party, it can take appropriate legal recourse. According to petitioner Rahul Mehra, the ministry might look to approach the Supreme Court to get a favorable order after the High Court bench refused to entertain their plea for modification of its February 7 order.
The bench has asked the ministry, which is a ‘Respondent’ in the Petitioner Rahul Mehra v/s Union of India & Others litigation, to file an affidavit, detailing the exercise carried out by it last year while granting provisional recognition to all 57 NSFs and, to also highlight discrepancies, if any, on the part of these NSFs not following the ‘National Sports Development Code of India’ (NSDCI) 2011. According to Mehra, the bench has directed the ministry to file a para-wise reply to his exhaustive over 250 pages affidavit, indicating which all 57 NSFs are code compliant and what action has been taken against the erring federations.
“The pleadings into the matter have been completed. The court has granted the ministry two weeks’ time to reply to my affidavit, responding to each and every objection I have raised pertaining to the functioning of the NSFs and how all of them have not been adhering to the code. Based on the response from the ministry and, also the affidavit filed by me, the arguments of both the parties will be heard and the matter will be decided on August 21, only as far as this particular issue of granting provisional annual recognition to 57 NSFs until September 30, 2020 is concerned. The court disposed off the ministry’s application as it didn’t find any merit whatsoever in it,” Mehra told TOI.
Mehra informed that the court posed some tough questions to the ministry. “The court’s first observation to the ministry was ‘how are you permitting the code to be diluted when you say that the code is sacrosanct and it has to be fully complied with by all NSFs’. Then the court asked about the provision under which the ministry can relax certain conditions in the code. The court also questioned the ministry as to why it hasn’t filed a para-wise reply to my affidavit which highlighted the violations in case of every single NSF. The court hasn’t considered favourably the ministry’s request to provide provisional annual recognition to NSFs. The bench said it will look into it on August 21 and will accordingly decide,” Mehra added.

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