NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday stalled until Monday the taking over of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) by the Committee of Trustees (CoA) appointed by the Delhi High Court that the Union government informed the SC that it feared IAO could face suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – similar to FIFA’s move against the Indian Football Federation (AIFF).
A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Hima Kohli and CT Ravikumar ordered a standstill in the IOA cases after being told that the CoA headed by former SC AR Justice Dave had not yet taken in charge.
The bench appealed the August 16 HC order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested an urgent hearing on the appeal filed by the AIO and said, “As a nation, we are concerned about the development. The HC named the CoA. The international bodies consider any management other than the elected body as a third party or an outsider and suspend the national sports body which does not have an elected body responsible for administration.
“Whether or not the CoA appointment was valid is a whole other question. But with the court-appointed administrators taking the reins of the IOA, there is a 99% chance that the IOA will be suspended. by the IOC, which would prevent Indian athletes from participating in any international sporting event, including the Olympics. It is essentially a matter of national prestige in the international arena,” Mehta said.
The bench had very little time to go through the case documents, having resumed the case less than an hour after granting the request for an urgent hearing. He registered Mehta’s submissions and ordered the status quo until Monday. The CJI has stated that the case will be posted for hearing before an appropriate bench, which will most likely be the bench headed by Judge DY Chandrachud who heard the AIFF case.
The HC-appointed CoA for the IOA includes Justice Dave, former Electoral Commission chief SY Quraishi and former External Affairs Secretary Vikas Swarup. Interestingly, Judge Dave and Quraishi seem to have some expertise in sports management as the AIFF CoA also included them and former India captain Bhaskar Ganguly.
The AIFF has been suspended by FIFA, obscuring India’s chances of hosting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The government told the SC it was trying to break the ice by emphasizing the possibility of hosting the prestigious international event.
The HC bench of Judges Manmohan and Najmi Waziri in its August 16 order justified the appointment of the CoA for IOA, saying its intervention was necessary to “improve the ecosystem”.

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