SC seeks Centre’s response on Lodha suggestions for other sports bodies

23 January, New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the central government’s response to a plea that the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee for organisational reforms in the Indian cricket board should be extended to all other national sports bodies.

The bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sought the government’s response to a petition by some Arjuna awardee sportsmen, including hockey player Ashok Kumar, and eminent sportspersons representing other sports who have represented the country at international fora.

Issuing notice on the plea, the bench tagged it with the matter concerning the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Notices have also been issued to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

The petition by the eminent sports persons representing athletics, hockey, cricket and other sports has sought the incorporation of some of the recommendations of the Justice Lodha panel for transparency and institutional integrity to the different national sports bodies.

Besides Ashok Kumar, son of legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand, other sportspersons who filed the petition include M.K. Kaushik, Ashwini Nachappa, Gurbax Singh Grewal, Balbir Singh Grewal, Bishan Singh Bedi, Kirti Azad, Joaquim Carvalho, Vandana Rao, Edward Sequerra, S.S. Narayan, Fortunate Franco, Nisha Millet, Pravin Thipsay, Bhagyashree Thipsay and Rekha Bidhe, among others.

The petitioners have sought amendment to the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 to include some of the recommendations made by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice M.L. Lodha committee on January 4, 2016 for effecting reforms in the administration of the BCCI.

The petition by the eminent sportspersons of yesteryears says incorporation of some of the recommendations of Justice Lodha panel were necessary in the “larger interest of sports administration, and to bring about transparency and to maintain institutional integrity of the National Sports Federations”.

“The good governance of National Sports Federations is directly related to the development of the concerned sport in India, and is also related to the quality of performance and opportunities available to the Indian sportspersons,” the petitioners told the apex court.

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