The Delhi High Court has stayed the Sports Ministry’s order to appoint a 13-member committee to review the controversial Draft National Sports Code 2017 saying there was no need to “reinvent the wheel” as it will only the delay of process of finalising that draft code which has been available with the ministry since 2017.
The two judge bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Najmi Waziri passed the order while hearing a petition by activist and lawyer Rahul Mehra against the Sports Ministry’s November 26 decision to appoint a new committee to relook at the draft code which was rejected by the Indian Olympic Association.
The expert committee was to be headed by Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma as its chairman and was to have a representative of the IOA among its members.
“The committee will try to strike a balance between autonomy of NSFs (National Sporting Federations) vis-a-vis need for transparency and autonomy,” the Sports Ministry’s notification had said then.
But the High Court pointed out that the Sports Ministry had sought a six-month time to comply with the orders of this court and the said period expired on November 25.
“Not only has the affidavit not been filed by the Secretary, which itself is in disobedience of the specific directions issued by the Court, but there was no occasion for the Ministry of Youth Affair and Sports (MYAS) to now decide to reinvent the wheel, as it were, by constituting another committee to again review the Draft National Sports Code which has been painstakingly prepared over a period of two years by a committee which had a broad spectrum of representation and which was chaired by a Secretary, MYAS. The present president of the IOA was also a member,” the order stated.
The two-judge bench also asked the Sports Secretary to file a fresh affidavit before December 20 which should give a definite timeline within which the final National Code for Good Governance and Sports will emerge and the final form of this code will be placed on record before this court.