Association sport

Supreme Court asks Justice Nageswara Rao to review International Olympic Committee (IOC) demands

The Supreme Court noted on Monday that its former judge, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, had been appointed to take over the process of amending the sports body’s constitution, preparing its electoral lists and holding elections for the executive body of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), is free to adopt a holistic perspective while amending the Constitution of the Indian Olympic Association. However, in doing so, the requirements of the Charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must be taken into consideration to avoid any future complications in this regard.

Following the appointment of Judge Rao on 22.09.2022, a joint meeting, organized by the IOC, took place in Lausanne on 27.09.2022. In its order dated 22.09.2022, the Supreme Court had requested the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, who would represent the Union Government, to submit a report containing the summary of the discussion at the said meeting.

On Monday, after reading the report presented by the Union government, the formation made up of Judges DY Chandrachud and Hima Kolhi noted that the first step envisaged is the preparation of the Constitution with a view to bringing about governance reforms, for the purposes of which the IOC and the Olympic Council of Asia have agreed to cooperate with Judge Rao. He further observed that once the IOA constitution is finalized, it should be adopted by the IOA General Assembly. The second stage, according to the Union government report, suggests conducting the AIO elections in accordance with the newly adopted constitution. The whole process must be completed before the IOC Executive Board meeting in December 2022. Regarding the discussion at the Lausanne meeting, a suggested timeline to complete the whole process of drafting the new constitution and the completion of the election was also provided in said report. The bench said it would appreciate the suggested timelines being duly facilitated, while Judge Rao looks at the issue holistically.

“As a copy of this order will be placed before Judge Nageswara Rao, we would appreciate if the suggested timelines are duly facilitated.”

He further added –

“Once the new constitution has been duly adopted and approved by the IOC, there will be a directive that the new constitution shall be adopted by the general body of the AIO under a binding direction of that court.”

The bench will hear the case after the Diwali holiday.

[Case Title: Indian Olympic Association v. UOI And Ors. SLP(C) No. 14533/2022]