New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) The turf war within the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) took a new turn on Tuesday with Associate Executive Council member Bholanath Singh alleging that Secretary-General Rajeev Mehta’s term as the President of the Fencing Association of India (FAI) was illegal.
In a letter addressed to Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal, Singh also says that by extension, Mehta’s position as Secretary-General of IOA is also illegal as he ran for the post as a representative of the FAI. Singh alleges that Mehta switching from being the President of the Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) to being the President of the FAI is in violation of the 2011 National Sports Code.
“Rajiv Mehta, before becoming President of Fencing Association of India (FAI) on 20.08.2017 was holding the post of President of Kho-Kho Federation of India (KKFI) for the period 2009 to 2017,” Singh writes.
“As per provisions of the National Sports Code 2011 – Annexure-XIII – letter dated 01.05.2010 –Para 9(i) – The President of “any” recognized National Sports Federation, including the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) can hold the office for a maximum period of twelve years with or without break. The reading of above indicates that a person can hold a post of President in any NSF for twelve years and NOT in “many” NSFs. The holding of post of Fencing Association is thus liable to be set aside.
“Further the above letter dated 01.05.2010 has a concept of cooling off. In case Rajiv Mehta wanted to switch from Kho-Kho Federation of India to Fencing Association of India, he should have gone through a cooling off of four years period.
“Consequent upon setting aside of holding of post of President, Fencing Association of India, holding the post of Secretary General, Indian Olympic Association by Rajiv Mehta is also liable to be declared as illegal as he fought IOA’s elections on the nomination from Fencing Association of India.”
Singh also alleges that Mehta had “demitted” the post of the President of Luge Federation of India (LFI) to his wife Deepa Mehta while holding the office.
“It is not clear how Deepa Mehta was elected to the Post of President of LFI. The website of the LFI does not have any details of elections,” says Singh.
“The issue for kind consideration of Government is how/whether Rajiv Mehta was allowed to hold posts in two federations simultaneously, i.e. Kho-Kho Federation and Luge.”
Singh also alleges that IOA Vice President and International Kho Kho Federation President Sudhanshu Mittal is running the International, Asian and Indian governing bodies of the sport from the same address.
“It is also noted that official address of Asian Kho Kho Federation and International Kho-Kho Federation is the same as that of Indian Kho-Kho Federation, thereby indicating that a same set of persons are managing the sports of Kho-Kho in all the three organisations,” Singh writes.
“Sports Federations are not private properties of Sudhanshu Mittal who has decided to manage International, Asian and Indian Kho Kho Federation i.e. all 3 from his private and personal business office. Union Sports Ministry should look into it before becoming a party to such fraud sports bodies, I will also be writing a separate mail on this issue.”