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Wider implications for AIFF after Supreme Court sets aside SY Quraishi's amended constitution

5:36 PM GMT+4 01/05/2019
Praful Patel AIFF's Annual General Body Meeting
All eyes will now be on the amended AIFF constitution which is also being prepared by SY Quraishi

In a development that will have wider ramifications for all sports in India, the Supreme Court of the country on Wednesday set aside the Archery Association of India (AAI) constitution as amended by the Delhi High Court-appointed Administrator SY Quraishi.

The Supreme Court also refused to acknowledge the elections held under the amended constitution on December 22, 2018, and ordered a fresh set of elections to be held in the next four weeks.

Last year, former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi was appointed by the Delhi High Court as the Administrator of the AAI and been handed a mandate to revise the governing body’s constitution in keeping with the National Sports Development Code of 2011 along with holding a fresh set of elections.

After Quraishi had amended the AAI constitution as per the revised draft of the 2015 National Sports Development Code and subsequently conducted fresh elections last year, the Maharashtra Archery Association (MAA) had challenged it and entered a plea in the Supreme Court. The amended constitution was also not approved by the general council of AAI with Quraishi bypassing the voting body before submitting it to the Supreme Court.

The MAA had argued that Quraishi has exceeded his mandate as Administrator of the AAI by incorporating provisions from the revised 2015 National Sports Code as well as the Justice Lodha panel’s recommendations for the BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India).

Those provisions barred public servants from contesting elections while also granting voting rights to sportsmen.

With the Supreme Court setting aside the amended AAI constitution on Wednesday, there will be wider implications on other sports including football. All sports bodies in the country will collectively breathe a sigh of relief and the news will be a welcome one for the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as well.

Last year, the Supreme Court of India had appointed SY Quraishi and former India captain Bhaskar Ganguly as a two-member committee of administrators to bring the AIFF constitution in sync with National Sports Code.

Earlier this year, Quraishi had stated that he intended to bring many of the same provisions adopted in the amended AAI constitution to the AIFF as well. That included the provision for barring public servants from holding office or contesting elections in the AIFF. Under the existing framework for the AIFF, any amendment to the constitution has to be approved by a three-fourths majority in the Annual General Body Meeting (AGM).

Quraishi is yet to submit his amended AIFF constitution to the Supreme Court but Wednesday’s verdict should throw a spanner in the works for the former Election Commissioner of India.