AAI names acting president to start election process

Senior vice-president Sunil Sharma has been named as the acting president of the AAI to start the ball rolling for its polls.

B. V. P. Rao resigned from his post of president of the Archery Association of India. (representative image)   -  AFP

Archery Association of India on Saturday named its senior vice-president Sunil Sharma as its acting president to start the ball rolling for its polls after the Supreme Court’s order to set aside the national body’s election last year and subsequent resignation of its president.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared “null and void” the elections conducted last December by the AAI that were monitored by high court-appointed administrator S. Y. Quraishi, and directed fresh polling within four weeks.

A bench of Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi said that the incumbent elected body would continue to function as a committee of administrators of the AAI and allowed it to be in office until the newly elected body takes over.

In the wake of the SC order and subsequent resignation of B. V. P. Rao from the post of president, the AAI on Saturday convened an emergent Executive Committee, which appointed Sharma as its acting president.

Sharma later declared that the AAI was in the process of searching an experienced Returning Officer to conduct elections as per the SC’s order.

“The Executive Committee unanimously appointed Sunil Sharma as acting president of AAI being the senior vice president of the association in accordance with Article 24 of AAI Constitution (as approved by the Supreme Court on 4th December, 2017),” the AAI said in a release.

Sharma, who is also vice president of Jammu and Kashmir Archery Association, chaired the Executive Committee meeting thereafter.

“It has also brought to the notice of the Executive Committee that acting president shall as per Article 17 of the constitution appoint the returning officer for conducting elections of AAI office bearers,” the AAI said.

“The name of the Returning Officer will be announced soon,” it added.

The SC bench had said that fresh elections must be conducted within four weeks considering the constitution of AAI as approved by SC with four amendments vide order dated December 4, 2017.

The top court had on December 4, 2017 directed AAI to amend its constitution in accordance with the 2011 National Sports Development Code (NSDC) and also to conduct the elections within four weeks thereafter. It had also requested high court appointed S Y Quraishi to oversee the elections in accordance with the amended constitution.

The bench said the administrator was given the liberty to seek clarification or directions as and when necessary; however, it could not be mistaken as authorising the administrator to carry out amendments in the constitution beyond the four amendments referred in the December 4, 2017 order.

On November 19 last year, the court had refused to interfere with the then ongoing election process but made it clear that its result would be subject to the outcome of the petition challenging the exercise.