Newly-elected chess body ignores Sports Code, but ready to fall in line

The newly-elected All India Chess Federation (AICF) set-up comprises six vice-presidents and six joint secretaries — a number that may irk the sports ministry sooner or later vis-à-vis the National Sports Development Code 2011, particularly a related case is going on in Delhi High Court.

According to the Code 2011, there can be a maximum of 12 persons in the managing committee of a National Sports Federation (NSF), comprising seven office-bearers and five executive members. The AICF has elected a total of 15 officials.

When asked if having six vice-presidents and six joint secretaries in the current set-up of the federation is a violation of the Sports Code 2011, AICF secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan said that the AICF would rejig the setup to conform to the Sports Code if the sports ministry wants it to do that.

Chauhan also said that there was no bar on having more than two vice presidents and more than two joint secretaries. “In case the sports ministry raises an objection, we would reduce the number. Till then it’s fine with us,” Chauhan told IANS.

The AICF elections were conducted in February 2020, but a Division Bench of the Madras High Court set aside the elections duly to violation of the Sports Code and ordered fresh elections while “duly complying the provisions of the Sports Code”.

In the re-elections, held last month, Kanpur-based Sanjay Kapoor was elected president, Chauhan from Delhi the secretary, and Haryana’s Naresh Sharma the treasurer.

The six vice presidents are DP Anantha, Bhavesh Patel, Vipnesh Bhardwaj, Ajay Ajmera, PC Lallianthanga, and Er Niapunga Konia while the six joint secretaries are Rajesh R, Mahendra Dhakal, Atul Kumar, Mughaho Awomi, Diljeet Khanna and Atanu Lahiri, according to the AICF website.

The website also shows there are five paid employees who oversee the AICF’s day-to-day functioning of the federation, and their salaries.

The sports ministry in a recent circular gave more time to the NSFs to comply with the Sports Code 2011 even as the related case is going on in the Delhi High Court. The government has given six months to all, except five NSFs, to amend their constitution to be eligible for annual government recognition and financial assistance.

The court has given the Yachting Association of India, the Equestrian Federation of India, the Indian Polo Association, the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, and the Special Olympic Bharat one year each to put their house in order.

Failure to comply with the Sports Code 2011 would lead to de-recognition of NSFs.