NEW DELHI: With the pressure intensifying on them, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) removed Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as its life-presidents on Monday. The national governing body, thus, is set to be re-recognised by the sports ministry, which had stopped its funding following the appointments of the two scam-tainted officials last month.
In reply to the ministry’s showcause notice, IOA President N Ramachandran said he regretted the ‘inconvenience and embarrassment caused to the individuals concerned, members of the IOA and to all.’ He, however, clarified that the move to appoint Kalmadi and Chautala did not stand owing to technicalities.
“This is with reference to the letter dated 30th December suspending the deemed recognition of the Indian Olympic Association which is uncalled for… a unilateral decision has been taken without hearing us,” Ramachandran wrote in his reply to the ministry’s showcause notice.
The IOA chief claimed that although there was a proposal to name two life presidents at the AGM, it did not imply that the IOA had accepted it. “In the Annual General Meeting held in Chennai on 27.12.2016, at the fag end of the meeting a point was raised by a member stating that IOA should nominate two life presidents. As no notice in writing was received at least 7 clear days as per the Constitution Clause VII, no resolution was put to vote and passed,” Ramachandran claimed.
He further added: “It is also clarified that members can make proposals in the meeting but if it does not meet provisions of the Constitution it cannot be assumed that the proposal has been approved and passed in the meeting. In view of the above, since the proposal was not in accordance with the Constitution, the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to the individuals concerned, members of IOA and to all is regretted.”
Kalmadi and Chautala’s appointments attracted widespread criticism, forcing Kalmadi to decline the offer. Chautala, however, remained defiant. While Kalmadi is an accused in the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scam and has also spent nine months in jail, Chautala is facing a trial in disproportionate assets case. The sports ministry then stepped in, and derecognised the IOA
That decision is set to be reversed following IOA’s move on Monday. “I have seen media reports that Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has cancelled the appointment of Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Singh Chautala as lifetime Presidents of IOA. I am happy that IOA has reversed its decision which augurs well for governance of sports in the country,” Sports Minister Vijay Goel said in a statement.
“IOA has complied with its own constitutional obligation and also with conditionality approved by IOC. In the renewed circumstances, we look forward to partnering with IOA in making India a sporting nation.”