The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted former apex court judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao’s proposal to conduct elections to the executive committee of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on December 10.
A bench comprising justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said: “Justice L. Nageswara Rao, former judge of this court, has submitted a note dated November 2. The note indicates the comprehensive exercise which has been carried out by the former judge of this court on an expedited basis.
“The court appreciates the alacrity with which the assignment has been taken up in the national interest. The judge has interacted with all the stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the state associations.”
The bench said there is a broad consensus in terms of the note submitted by Justice Rao that the elections should be held on December 10, 2022.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta represented the Centre before the apex court.
The bench said in its order: “The amendments proposed to the constitution of the Indian Olympic Association have to be circulated today so that the general body meeting can be held on November 10. The proposal which has been submitted in that regard is accepted. The proposed amendments are permitted to be circulated. Justice Nageswara Rao is at liberty to chalk out the modalities for the circulation of the proposed amendments.”
The bench ordered that no other court should entertain any petition relating to the amendments to the constitution of IOA or to the election to the executive committee of the IOA.
“All objections shall be submitted by any person or party before this court alone,” said the bench.
The bench also directed the IOA to make payment of honorarium of Rs 20 lakh to Justice Rao, though he had taken up the task assigned to him pro bono.
“The Solicitor General has stated that Justice Nageswara Rao has indicated that he would perform the task which has been assigned by this court pro bono. The Solicitor General fairly states that having regard to the magnitude of the task and the efforts which have been put in, it would be appropriate if an honorarium is paid to the judge,” noted the SC bench.
The bench added, “The remuneration which is payable to the assisting counsel shall be fixed by the judge and intimated to IOA. IOA has agreed to defray the remuneration as so fixed.”
The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on December 7.
On September 22, the Supreme Court had appointed Justice Rao to prepare electoral rolls and conduct elections, and amend the constitution of Indian Olympic Association.
The apex court in September had stayed the Delhi High Court August 16 order, directing the Committee of Administrators to take control of IOA governance.
The Sports Ministry told the court that it could lead to suspension by the international committee due to third party interference.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had on September 8 issued a final warning to IOA to sort out governance issues and hold elections by December.