Ministry acts tough

General: AFI told to conduct fresh polls for three posts

The sports ministry has directed the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to amend its constitution and hold fresh elections for the posts of president, secretary and treasurer.

The AFI has been asked to carry out the directives “within the period of 60 days, or 28 February 2013, whichever is earlier”, or else it will be derecognised. Adille Sumariwalla is the president of the AFI, CK Valson the secretary and Satyanarayana, the treasurer.

According to AFI sources, they were willing to conduct fresh elections while Satyanarayana said he has already submitted his resignation as treasurer. “I have submitted my resignation; I have to present the accounts to the executive committee and it is up to them to approve my resignation,” he said.

The sports ministry was asked by the High Court to give a hearing to Rahul Mehra — who filed a petition questioning the validity of the AFI elections — as well as AFI, and pass a “reasoned order” on the objections raised.

The ministry said it heard both the sides and even put a showcause notice to the AFI eight weeks ago. Its directions to the AFI have been chalked out based on these findings.

“It was found that Clause XIV(b)(1) of the Constitution of AFI required that a person must be an existing member of the Executive Committee of the AFI for seeking election to the post of President/Secretary. This Clause was found to be restricting the potential candidates and was also in violation of the National Sports Development Code 2011,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry emphasised that their decision was not based on individuals and would welcome whoever takes the post through right legal procedure. The statement further stated, “It was also observed that the election to the post of treasurer was also in contravention of the Department of Personnel & Training’s Circular dated 22-4-1994.”

Satyanarayana is employed with the Railways and the ministry obviously found him holding the treasurer’s post violated the government department’s stance.
“The AFI has been directed to amend its constitution to delete Article XIV(b)(1) and hold elections to the above three posts de-novo,” the ministry further said.

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