IOA Won't Reply to Show Cause Notice on Friday, Will Consult IOC First: Official
"Under Olympic Charter, the IOA enjoys autonomy and independence from government interference. We will first consult with the IOC on this notice before thinking of replying," the official said
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will not respond to a show cause notice by the Sports Ministry regarding the controversial appointments of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents by Friday, a top official said on Thursday.
"The IOA president is out of the country, he is in New Zealand. We are not replying tomorrow on the show-cause," the official was quoted as saying by PTI.
The Sports Ministry had earlier directed IOA to reply to the notice by Friday, December 30, or face punitive action.
The official also stated that IOA will first consult the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on whether the ministry's show cause notice amounts to government interference, before replying to the notice.
"Under Olympic Charter, the IOA enjoys autonomy and independence from government interference. We will first consult with the IOC on this notice before thinking of replying," he said.
"Normally, we would not have replied on such a notice because we are an autonomous body established under Olympic Charter. We may reply but that may happen after consultation with the IOC," the official added.
The elevation of Kalmadi and Chautala kicked up a storm and stunned the Indian sports fraternity.
Under intense pressure from various quarters, Kalmadi chose to step aside yesterday. But Chautala refused to follow suit though he said that he was ready to relinquish the post only if the International Olympic Committee has reservations about it. He asked IOA President N Ramachandran to discuss the matter with the IOC.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel said that it will severe ties with the IOA if the decision is not overturned.
"Charges have been framed by court against Shri Suresh Kalmadi and Shri Abhay Singh Chautala. In the GBM of IOA held on 27-12-2016 at Chennai, a resolution was passed to appoint Shri Kalmadi and Shri Chautala as Life Presidents. Therefore, persons who cannot contest elections for any post in the IOA have been appointed as Life President of IOA, which in spirit is violative of both IOC's conditionalities and IOA's own constitution," the ministry said in the notice.
"In view of the above, the IOA is asked to show cause as to why IOA should continue to be recognised as the NOC and government support/assistance of all nature should not be stopped when it has failed to conform to the basic principles of ethics and good governance, violated the directive of the IOC and violated its own rules and thus has adversely impacted the standing and prestige of the country.
"Your reply should reach the office of the undersigned latest by 17.00hrs of 30 December 2016, failing which it would be construed that you have nothing to say in the matter and action will be taken accordingly," the notice said.
(With inputs from PTI)