Draft National Sports Development Bill, 2013

Government has been highlighting for some time now the need for bringing about reforms in the management and governance of sports in order to make it more responsive, responsible and result oriented.

In view of above, a draft bill was formulated and   placed before the Cabinet on 30/08/2011. The Cabinet decided that for facilitating better management of sports in the country, the Bill be recast.

On 14/10/2011, the Government after revising the Draft Bill put it in the public domain and also sent the same to National Sports Federations seeking their comments/suggestions.  It was felt that the original draft of the Sports Bill be revised.

Hence, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) constituted a Working Group under the Chairmanship of Justice (Retd.) Mukul Mudgal to prepare a revised draft of the National Sports Development Bill.  The Working Group includes eminent sportspersons including Shri Abhinav Bindra and Shri Viren Rasquinha, sports administrators and legal experts. They held several meetings and deliberated upon the various aspects associated with the matter and have come out with a revised draft.  The same was presented to the Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on 10/07/2013 by the Chairman of the Working Group, Justice Mukul Mudgal (Retd.).

The bill is being put up on the website of the ministry for comments of the general public and other stake-holders.  A copy will also be sent to IOC for comments.

Salient Features of the National Sports Development Bill, 2013 are as follows:

a.    Duties have been imposed on the National Olympic Committee including performing functions according to the Olympic Charter, responsibility for bidding for international multi-sport events, in-house mechanism to address grievances, conduct National games at regular intervals, constitute Athletes Commission and function as a public authority under the RTI and submission of report to the Parliament;

b.    An Appellate Sports Tribunal is proposed to be established with the selection committee consisting  ofthe  Chief Justice of India or his/her nominee judge, Secretary, Department of Sports and President, National Olympic Committee.

c.    An Ethics Commission has been proposed which shall enforce a Code of Ethics which shall be in accordance with the International Olympic Committee™s code and principles, enshrined in the Constitution of India;

d.    A Sports Election Commission has been proposed under the Bill to conduct free and fair elections  to the National Olympic Committee, National Sport Federations and the Athletes Commission;

e.    A two-fold system for functioning of National Sport Federations has been introduced i.e recognition and accreditation of the National Sport Federations;

f.     Recognition of a National Sport Federation is dependent upon recognition from the International Federation and/or the National Olympic Committee.

g. All federations seeking direct or indirect funding shall need to be accredited by the Government and shall have to comply with the accreditation requirements as stated in the Bill; All applications for accreditation have to be decided in 90 days from the date of receipt. Otherwise, the accreditation would be deemed to have been granted;

h.    In order to represent India in international events and to have a right for a particular sport federation to use  ˜India™ or ˜Indian™ in the sport scenario, the federation shall have to comply with Chapter IV (Unethical practices in Sports) and Chapter IX (Applicability of Right to Information Act);

i. The right to represent India has been reserved to the citizens of India;

j. All accredited National Sport Federations need to have the following clauses in their MOA/AOA or Bye-Laws amongst others:

I.        Office Bearer shall retire at the age of 70 years;

II.        Athletes nominated by the Athletes Commission shall be included in the decision making process of the executive body;

III.        The total strength of the athletes in the executive body shall not be less than 25% of the voting rights;

IV.        Ensure that representation of either gender is not less than 10% of the membership in the General Body;

V.        A person against whom criminal charges have been framed under the Criminal Procedure Code (section 228) shall be ineligible to contest elections of the NOC/NSF;

VI.        A person who has served as an Officer Bearer on the executive body of a NSF/NOC for 2 consecutive terms shall be ineligible to stand for election.

VII.        However, the President shall be eligible to hold office for 12 years or three terms of office of four years each with or without break.

k. An Office Bearer of one NSF shall be ineligible to hold post of an Office Bearer in another NSF;

l. All cases where the NOC/NSF are parties shall, with the leave of the Hon™ble Supreme Court or theHon™ble High Court as the case may be, be transferred to the Appellate Sports Tribunal;

n. An Athletes Commission has been proposed to be set up in each NOC/NSF within six months of promulgation of this Act; The Athletes Commission shall also advise the NOC/NSF on development of the sport, training and competition schedules, athletes grievances, selection and technical criteria, logistics and administration support amongst others.

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