By Jaydeep Basu
New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) Archery Association of India president B.V.P. Rao, on Wednesday, decided to resign from his post despite the Supreme Court asking him to continue as one of the administrators till fresh elections are held.
Rao, who was elected the AAI chief in December last, resigned after the Supreme Court’s ruling to set aside the constitution of the national body of the sport as amended by Delhi High Court-appointed administrator S.Y. Quraishi.
The Supreme Court also relieved the administrator of his responsibilities and made some strong observation about the way he conducted elections.
Rao, however, told the IANS that he was resigning on his own. “While setting aside the constitution, the Supreme Court has asked current office bearers to work as committee of administrators and look after the day to day functioning of AAI. However, I have decided to resign,” Rao said.
“I have also not decided whether I will contest again when fresh elections are held,” added the former IAS officer.
While setting aside the new constitution and elections held in December, the two-member bench of the Supreme Court, Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi, said the administrators brought too many amendments in the constitution though he was asked to go by the National Sports Code only.
“We declare that the constitution of AAI is amended only to the extent of four amendments referred to in the order dated 4th December 2017, treating it as amended by an order of this court, without requiring to comply with any other formality. Rest of the amendments are declared null and void and non est in law.
“We also declare that all steps taken by the administrator on the basis of administrator’s constitution, including the elections conducted on 22nd December 2018 are null and void and non est in law,” the Supreme Court observed.
The bench said: “The administrator has no power to amend the constitution much less unilaterally, except for the four amendments approved by this court, for which no further formality was required to be undertaken. The administrator was obliged to conduct elections on the basis of such amended constitution in terms of the order of this court dated 4th December 2017. No more and no less.”
The Indian Olympic Association, which does not recognise the Rao-led AAI, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision.
“It is victory for IOA and AAI. The Hon’ble apex court today set aside the constitution prepared by Mr. Quraishi. Both the IOA and the sports ministry had registered strong objections to the said constitution and the elections conducted in accordance with it,” the IOA said in a statement.
“IOA is completely in favour of transparency but the autonomy of the associations must be protected,” it added.
(Jaydeep Basu can be contacted at [email protected])