Sports Ministry seeks HC consent to grant provisional recognition


New Delhi: The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Tuesday approached the Delhi High Court seeking its consent to give annual recognition provisionally till September 30 to 54 National Sports Federations (NSF).

The ministry’s application, which is likely to come up for hearing on July 2, also sought court’s consent to revoke the suspension of recognition of three NSFs and renew their annual recognition provisionally.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Najmi Waziri had said that the ministry tried to “overreach” the high court’s February order while proceeding to take this decision, even if it was provisional in nature, without first approaching the court and seeking its consent.

The application, filed through Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, prayed, “To grant consent  to the ministry to give annual recognition for 2020 provisionally till September 30 to all those NSFs which had the government recognition as on December 31, 2019 and to those NSFs whose suspended recognition has been revoked after December 31, 2019, total 57 in number.”

“Non-renewal of annual recognition of NSFs is detrimental to the overall development of the sports especially the athlete/ sportspersons who are otherwise presently demoralised due to COVID-19 since all training and competitions were put on hold. The government is in the process for planning and resumption of training and sports activities, which are carried out through NSFs,” it said.

The application said that in compliance of June 24 order, the ministry has issued a fresh notice on June 25 intimating all concerned 54 NSFs that the June 2 letter regarding ‘renewal of annual recognition of NSF for the year 2020’ stands withdrawn.

It added that the earlier decision taken by the ministry was unintentional and not deliberate.

The ministry’s provisional decision had come under the scanner of the high court as it had on February 7 directed the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) and Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs (MYSA) to inform the court in advance while seeking to take any decision in relation to the NSFs.

On June 24, advocate and activist Rahul Mehra had pointed out that the ministry’s June 16 affidavit has stated that the ministry proposes to restore the suspension of recognition three NSFs, namely, Indian Golf Union (IGU), School Games Federation of India (SGFI) and the Rowing Federation of India (RFI).

The court had directed the ministry to maintain status quo on the decision.

The high court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Mehra in 2010 which had initially sought a probe into the functioning of various sports bodies, including Hockey India and Indian Olympic Association.