Sports Ministry to intimate Supreme Court next week before granting fresh recognition to NSFs

The Supreme Court said the ministry and the IOA are not required to seek the nod of the Delhi High Court before granting recognition to sports federations.

The Supreme Court was hearing the sports ministry’s appeal against the High Court order which prohibited the authorities from taking decision on granting recognition to NSFs without its prior nod.   -  The Hindu Photo Library

The Sports Ministry on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s go-ahead to it on grant of recognition to National Sports Federations (NSFs) and said it would intimate the court about the process in a week’s time.

The Supreme Court said the ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) are not required to seek the nod of the Delhi High Court before granting recognition to sports federations in the country.

The apex court was hearing the sports ministry’s appeal against the High Court order which prohibited it from taking decision on granting recognition to NSFs without its prior approval. A total of 57 NSFs were rendered de-recognised because of the HC order.

READ: Ministry, IOA set to challenge HC order on grant of recognition to NSFs in SC

“As per the Honourable Supreme Court’s order today, the sports ministry can now give recognitions to NSFs which will help in the preparations for our Olympic-bound athletes,” a ministry source said.

The High Court order was passed on a 2010 PIL, filed by lawyer Rahul Mehra, seeking observance of the National Sports Code, which put a cap on the age and tenure of office-bearers.

”...as per the guidelines, we will have to intimate the Hon’ble courts before taking any action on this matter. We are working on it and by next week we will be in a position to intimate the court,” the source said.

Because of their de-recognised status, NSFs have not been able to manage the day-to-day affairs of crucial sports such as boxing and hockey. The national camps for are being conducted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The Delhi High Court order on prohibition of recognition came on June 24.

It subsequently turned down the ministry’s petition seeking modification of its February 7 order which had barred the centre and the IOA from taking any decision regarding the NSFs without informing it.

The sports ministry and the IOA then decided to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the Delhi High Court order.

On August 7, the ministry had requested the High Court to modify the order but the court rejected that plea as well and asked for a National Sports Code compliance report.

The ministry then sent across a questionnaire to the NSFs seeking the age and tenure details of their office-bearers. The NSFs had responded to it and a report was filed before the Delhi HC.