The IOA should have equal representation of men and women with voting rights
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will have equal representation of male and female members with voting rights at its general assembly, a remarkable achievement given its recent troubled and factionalized past, if it approves the draft constitution at its extraordinary general meeting in November. ten.
The AIO will also open the office of president to any citizen of the country, a dramatic departure from the previous requirement for a candidate to have served on the executive committee.
A similar provision was included in the constitution of the Indian Football Federation (AIFF) recently after it was briefly banned by international parent body FIFA.
The elected post of Secretary General, which was held by a few eminent persons in the past, will no longer exist and its role will be taken over by a CEO appointed by the Executive Board.
The Director General will not have the right to vote and will be an ex-officio member of the Executive Council.
The draft constitution prepared by the one-man Supreme Court-appointed committee of retired SC Justice L Nageswara Rao and endorsed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to be adopted by the IOA at its SGM here on 10 november. The SC approved the holding of elections on 10 December.
Some members and officials, however, are unhappy with some of the provisions of the draft constitution, such as the tenure rule and the removal of the restrictive presidential candidate clause, which they believe could lead to powerful politicians or to people with strong political ties. occupying the highest position.
The General Assembly will be composed of two representatives — one man and one woman — with one vote each of the national federations whose sports are included in the program of the Olympic/Asian/Commonwealth Games, IOC members in India, two representatives of the Athletes’ Commission – one man and one woman – with one vote each and eight representatives – four men and four women – who are Athletes of Exceptional Merit (SOM) with one vote each.
As planned, National Olympic Associations will no longer have the right to vote.
Since the only Indian IOC member is currently Nita Ambani, the AIO General Assembly will have more women than men when it comes to voting members.
Ambani hailed the draft constitution and hailed the greater representation of athletes and women in the document.
In accordance with article 11 of the draft constitution, the Executive Board will have 15 members, in addition to the IOC member in India, at least four of whom will be women.
The Executive Council is composed of a president, a first vice-president, two vice-presidents — a man and a woman — a treasurer, two co-secretaries — a man and a woman — six other members of which two – one man and one woman – must come from the elected SOMs, two representatives – one man and one woman – elected by the Athletes’ Commission from among its members.
The IOC member(s) in India must be ex-officio members of the Executive Board with voting rights.
Athletes of Exceptional Merit are those who have retired from active sports (should not have participated in any competitive event for at least one year prior to the date of application) and had won at least one of the gold, silver or bronze at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games or Asian Games.
The voting majority of the Executive Council is made up of the votes cast by the federations affiliated to the international federations governing the sports included in the program of the Olympic Games or their representatives in accordance with the Olympic Charter.
To be eligible to become a member of the Executive Council, a member must be a citizen of the country, in full possession of his civic rights, aged under 70 on the date of the election, not have been convicted or have had a negative opinion issued by the ethics commission and has not been the subject of any charges brought by an Indian court.
Under the term guidelines in Article 14, no officer will be permitted to hold office for more than three terms. No member may hold one or more directorships for more than two consecutive terms.
A board member must undergo a cooling-off period of four years after two consecutive terms, after which he is eligible for another term. Two terms of office are considered consecutive when the difference between them is less than the cooling-off period.
Current Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, who has served two terms in the post, is said to be unhappy with some provisions of the draft constitution.
“He (Mehta) is unhappy with some provisions of the draft constitution including the tenure rule. He feels he has done a good job but may have to serve a cooling off period to challenge again,” an official close to Mehta said.
“There is also doubt as to whether he is ineligible to compete for any position.”
Members who have already completed three terms (consecutive or not) in any position of office bearer are not eligible for any office.
The age limit for any member of the office is 70 years old on the date of the election.
The draft constitution unquestionably gives priority to the Olympic Charter over the statutes of the country.
He said the Olympic Charter will take precedence over the provisions of the Companies Registration Act 1860, under which it was established, as applicable in the Delhi NCT.
He also said that “no provision of the national sports code will be applicable to the IOA if it is in contradiction with the Olympic Charter and this newly adopted Constitution”.
“In all questions relating to the interpretation and application of the Constitution, as well as in questions not specifically provided for herein, the decision of the General Assembly shall be final and binding on all concerned, to the extent where this decision is not in contradiction with the Olympic Charter,” he said.
The IOA elections were due to take place in December last year but could not take place due to a pending case in the Delhi High Court where a petition was filed seeking an amendment to its constitution before elections are held to bring it into line with the National Sport Code.
The IOC, which had threatened to ban India if AIO elections were not held by December, had earlier accepted ‘in principle’ most of the points raised by the Delhi High Court in its decision of August, claiming that they were compatible with the Olympic Charter. and the basic principles of good governance, with the exception of two major points.
Rao had conducted extensive consultations with various stakeholders including Barrister Rahul Mehra, the original Delhi High Court petitioner, officials from IOA, Ministry of Sports, Sports Authority of India , NIS Patiala and many NSFs.
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