The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Centre to immediately stop giving money, funds or other assistance to national sports federations (NSFs) that have till now not complied with the requirements of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.
“No money will go henceforth to any entity which does not comply with the Sports Code. That is the long and short of it. What is suffering is the rule of law,” the high court ordered while hearing a petition filed by senior advocate and sports activist Rahul Mehra, to ensure the compliance with the Sports Code by the NSFs.
The Centre, in its affidavit, had informed the high court that only 10 per cent or about six of the 56 NSFs, recognised by the government, are in compliance of the Sports Code. The affidavit further stated that the government has spent approximately Rs 14,391 crores in sporting activities from 2009-2010 till 2018-19 and nearly Rs 1,237 crores has been disbursed directly to the NSFs on the explicit statutory understanding that they, including Indian Olympic Association (IOA), will comply with the Sports Code.
The high court said the compliance of its order should be done by the end of one month and in the meantime, assistance to sportspersons through the Sports Authority of India (SAI) would be ensured and possibly augmented. The high court additionally ordered that the non-compliant NSFs will be put on notice of suspension.
Mr. Mehra had stated that despite more than a decade having gone by, many NSFs continue to breach the National Sports Code, 2011 and its strict mandates, while they continue to enjoy governmental grants, concessions and recognition.
The sports code were a set of regulations passed by the government in 2011 which laid out 'basic universal principles of good governance, ethics and fair play'. The Code put restrictions on the age and tenure of office bearers of the national sports federations while laying out expectations of transparent functioning and free and fair elections.