Justice DY Chandrachud, India’s 50th CJI, and his observations in three big cases of Indian sport

Justice D.Y Chandrachud in the recent past has made impactful judgments in high profile Indian sports cases including those of the BCCI, AIFF and IOA.

Published : Oct 17, 2022 20:51 IST

Justice DY Chandrachud the 50th CJI of India
Justice DY Chandrachud the 50th CJI of India | Photo Credit: PTI

Justice DY Chandrachud the 50th CJI of India | Photo Credit: PTI

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who will be sworn in as the 50th Chief Justice of India, has headed Supreme Court benches on some of the biggest cases in Indian sports in the recent past.

All India Football Federation’s case on the FIFA ban

The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Chandrachud, in August 2022, passed an order asking the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to hold and conclude elections for its executive committee as expeditiously as possible and well in time for the Women’s Under-17 World Cup which will be played in India in October 2022.

FIFA had imposed the ban on AIFF on August 15 2022 due to “third party interference” and said that the U-17 Women’s World Cup “cannot currently be held in India as planned”. The “third party interference” mentioned here refers to the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators who were running the AIFF instead of an elected body.

As an aftermath of the judgement, FIFA lifted it’s ban on the AIFF and allowed the Under-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in India.

Indian Olympic Association’s election case

The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Chandrachud, in September 2022, appointed retired judge Justice L. Nageswara Rao to amend the constitution of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA)  and prepare the electoral college of the association.

The IOA had received an ultimatum from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold it’s elections by December 2022 or be removed as a member of IOC

Hearing a petition filed by Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud said that Justice Rao would come up with recommendations for the amendment of the constitution and help the body to hold its elections by December 15, 2022.

Justice Chandrachud also allowed Rajeev Mehta, the secretary general of IOA, and Adille Sumariwalla, the president of IOA, to represent India at the Internal Olympic Committee (IOC)  meeting.

BCCI’s case on a cooling-off period for it’s office bearers

The Supreme Court, in September 2022, considered whether the three-year cooling-off period for Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)  office-bearers should kick in only after they complete two consecutive terms in the apex cricket body.

A Bench led by Justice Chandrachud orally observed that imposing a cooling-off period of three years after only one term in office would be “too stringent”.

“A cooling-off period of three years after just one term of three years in office is really too stringent. People should be allowed to get acquainted… You will have networks, deal with international counterparts,” Justice Chandrachud remarked. The court’s suggestions came while examining a plea by BCCI for permission to amend its Constitution.

However, the court did not  prima facie agree with the BCCI proposal to remove the bar on sending persons above 70 years of age to the International Cricket Council (ICC). “Why should you have a 75-year-old representing us in the ICC? Let younger people represent us in the ICC,” Justice Chandrachud said.

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