Ministry welcomes back IOA after u-turn on Kalmadi, Chautala
New Delhi : Forced to remove the scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as its life presidents after widespread outrage, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is set to be re-recognised by the Sports Ministry, which said the decision augurs well for governance of sports in the country.
The IOA decided to revoke its outrageous decision after a meeting here yesterday. In reply to the Ministry’s showcause notice, IOA President N Ramachandran clarified that the move to appoint Kalmadi and Chautala does not stand owing to technicalities.
“I have seen media reports that Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has cancelled the appointment of Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Singh Chautala as lifetime Presidents of IOA. I am happy that IOA has reversed its decision which augurs well for governance of sports in the country,” Sports Minister Vijay Goel said in a statement.
“By reversing their earlier decision, which appears to have been taken in a hurried manner, IOA has complied with its own constitutional obligation and also with conditionality approved by International Olympic Committee (IOC). In the renewed circumstances, we look forward to partnering with IOA in making India a sporting Nation,” he added.
Earlier, Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas said with the IOA deciding to take a u-turn, its suspension also stands cancelled.
“We welcome the IOA’s decision that it has gone by its constitution. Our statement on the suspension clearly states that it will be lifted the moment IOA reverses the decision. That has happened and we welcome it,” Srinivas told PTI.
The appointment of Kalmadi and Chautala was declared “null and void” in order to not just get the recognition from Ministry but also to avoid any possible action from the IOC.
Kalmadi and Chautala were elevated to the honorary position at the IOA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Chennai on December 27, but the Olympic body was forced to reverse its decision after it was opposed by a majority of IOA members.
Kalmadi declined the post till his name was cleared following the outrage, while, after initial defiance, Chautala said he would also step aside should the International Olympic Committee raise any objections.
“This is with reference to the letter dated 30th December suspending the deemed recognition of the Indian Olympic Association which is uncalled for…a unilateral decision has been taken without hearing us,” Ramachandran wrote to Srinivas in reply to the Ministry’s showcause notice.
The IOA chief claimed that although there was a proposal to name two life presidents at the AGM, it did not imply thatthe IOA had accepted it.
“In the Annual General Meeting held in Chennai on 27.12.2016, at the fag end of the meeting a point was raised by a member stating that IOA should nominate two life presidents. As no notice in writing was received at least 7 clear days as per the Constitution Clause VII no resolution was put to vote and passed,” Ramachandran claimed.
“It is also clarified that members can make proposals in the meeting but if it does not meet provisions of the Constitution it cannot be assumed that the proposal has been approved and passed in the meeting.
“In view of the above since the proposal was not in accordance with the Constitution, the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to the individuals concerned, members of IOA and to all is regretted,” he added.
While Kalmadi is an accused in the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scam and has also spent nine months in jail, Chautala is facing a trial in disproportionate assets case.