The International Olympic Committee has advised the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to reschedule its December 19 elections in view of a pending case in the Delhi High Court but has urged the body to go ahead with its General Assembly on the same date.
In a letter to IOA president Narinder Batra, the IOC said the elections should nonetheless take place before the end of January next year after requisite amendments in the IOA constitution.
"As things stand, we note that IOA elections can no longer be held on 19 December 2021, as planned initially, due to the Court order. However, unless otherwise indicated in the court order, we understand that UOA General Assembly can still take place on 19 December 2021, with other items in the agenda that are not related to elections," IOC wrote to Batra in its communication.
"The Elective General Assembly would then be rescheduled as early as possible and should take place by the end of January 2022, at the latest, in order to respect the four-year electoral cycle, in accordance with the IOA Constitution and the Olympic Charter."
According to IOA sources, the main issue is the restrictive provision in clause 11.1.3 of the IOA constitution which requires the candidates for president and secretary General's post to have held the same office earlier or be elected members in any of the five preceding executive Councils of the IOA.
"We took note of the Court decision, which, of course, shall be respected. However it is unfortunate that such institutional and internal issues could not be addressed and resolved directly within the IOA," the letter stated.
The IOC made it clear that any amendments to the constitution should follow due process and then be submitted to the IOC for approval.
"As you know, any potential proposal to amend the IOA Constitution should simply follow due process, as per IOA Constitution, and be submitted to the IOC for prior approval and to the IOA General Assembly for adoption."
The Delhi High Court has stayed elections to the executive committee of the IOA) on a plea by senior advocate Rahul Mehra.
Mehra, in his application, has submitted that the proposed elections to be held on December 19 are wholly illegal and unsustainable and ought not to be conducted pending the hearing.