indian sport

Supreme Court directs Archery Association of India to amend constitution, hold fresh elections

The SC stated that fresh elections are to be held in four weeks’ time.

The Supreme Court today directed the Archery Association of India (AAI) to amend its constitution in accordance with the 2011 - National Sports Development Code (NSDC) and conduct the elections in four weeks time.

The apex court said the election should take place in accordance with the amended constitution by virtue of the court’s order under the supervision of former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, who has been appointed as the administrator by the Delhi High Court.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud requested Quraishi to oversee the election in accordance with the amended constitution.

The apex court’s direction came during the hearing of the AAI’s plea against a Delhi HC verdict of August 10, appointing Quraishi to look into the functioning of the association which was de-recognised by the government in 2012 for four months.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha said though certain amendments have been carried out in the constitution, they were not in consonance with the National Sports Development Code of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and pointed out certain deviations.

Senior advocate Sunil Gupta and advocate Sushil Salwan, appearing for the AAI and Maharashtra Archery Association, said the amendment should be carried out keeping in view the deviations pointed out by the Ministry within a week.

“It is directed that amendment shall be incorporated by treating it as an order of the court. After the constitution comes into force, election shall be held under the supervision of S Y Quraishi who has been appointed the Administrator by the High Court, within four weeks therefrom,” the bench said.

It said the amended constitution should be filed before the Court and a copy be given to ASG Narasimha and respondent-in-person advocate Rahul Mehra. It also made it clear that the filing of the amended constitution in the court will not postpone the election.

“To elaborate, an amendment shall be incorporated stating the same as an order of the Court within a week hence and thereafter, Quraishi shall proceed to hold the election in accordance with the constitution which will come into existence by virtue of the order passed today,” it said.

The court granted Quraishi the liberty to see that the constitution of the archery body is strictly in accordance with the Code and then proceed with the election. In case of any reservation, he could move the court.

Earlier, the apex court had directed the Centre to verify whether the AAI has amended its constitution in accordance with the 2011 code. The AAI had contended that the high court should not have appointed Quraishi to look into its affairs.

Advocate Rahul Mehra, on whose plea the HC had passed the verdict, had contended before the top court that AAI’s constitution was to be amended as per the NSDC, 2011. The HC had appointed Quraishi, who has also served as the secretary in the sports ministry, as the administrator-cum-returning officer to look into the affairs of the AAI.

Mehra had approached the HC seeking to appoint an administrator for compliance of its December, 2016 order to hold elections for the various posts of AAI.

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