IOA says govt's age guidelines for members is 'illegal'

Sep 24, 2012 18:34 IST

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New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association today termed the government's directive to adhere to age and tenure guidelines in its upcoming elections as "illegal" and "unconstitutional" and said that it could even move the Supreme Court, if the decision in the case in Delhi High Court goes against it.

Addressing a press conference after IOA's Executive Board Meeting here, acting president VK Malhotra accused the government of trying to force the age and tenure guidelines without the backing of a law.

"Where is the law for IOA to implement these guidelines? There is no Act of Parliament. We have filed a case in Delhi High Court against the sports ministry guidelines, saying that these are illegal and unconstitutional. The high court had issued notices and hearing is coming up on October 15," Malhotra said.

VK Malhotra (Centre) with Indian athletes. AFP

"The government had sought to portray that the high court had directed the IOA to adhere to these guidelines. It's not like that. The court had simply said that the IOA can hold elections by taking into account its rules, byelaws and decision of government courts.

"What the high court said is a bit contradictory and we will fight out our case till the end. But, the court had also said that it (the high court observation) can be changed also later on. Besides, International Olympic Committee can even derecognise India if the government forces these guidelines on
us," he said.

Asked what the IOA would do if the Delhi High Court decision goes against it, he said, "We have the option to ask the high court to review the decision or we can go to the Supreme Court, we will decide. But the government should not propagate wrong information and create a myth."

PTI