No takeover of IOA affairs by CoA as SC extends status quo

The Supreme Court on Monday extended the duration of its status quo order, which restrained a Committee of Administrators (CoA) from taking charge of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

A bench of Justices S.A. Nazeer and J.K. Maheshwari said: “Issue notice. Status quo to be continued until further orders, List after four weeks.” The bench sought reply from the Centre and others on the plea filed by the IOA.

Last week, the top court had restrained the CoA from taking charge of the IOA as it ordered a status quo on an order of the Delhi High Court.

The top court, in its August 18 order, said: “It was orally mentioned by senior counsel appearing for the petitioner and Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, appearing for the Union of India, stating that by virtue of the present order passed by the High Court of Delhi, there is every possibility that Indian athletes might lose the chance of participating in international events, including the Olympics.”

Mehta had submitted that if the high court order is allowed to operate, it would be not in the best interest of the nation.

“We are informed that charge of the Indian Olympics Association has not been handed over to the Committee of Administrators so far. In view of the serious concerns raised in the matter, we direct the parties to maintain status quo,” the top court said.

The high court said in order to improve the ‘eco system’ of sports bodies and structurally reform them, and put the affairs of the IOA in the hands of a Committee of Administrators in line with a recent Supreme Court order.

It also directed the Centre not to grant recognition or any facility to the Indian Olympic Association or any National Sports Federations (NSFs) if they refuse to comply with the Sports Code.

“..the legal regime apropos sports administration in India has to be implemented fully and effectively.

“Compliance with the Sports Code is non-negotiable,” a division bench of Justice Najmi Waziri and Justice Manmohan stated in its order.

As per the high court order, the Committee of Administrators — Justice Anil R. Dave, a former judge of the Supreme Court, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, Vikas Swarup, Former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs — was to carry out the day-to-day governance of the IOA.

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