New Delhi, Dec 7 : The union ministry of sports Friday derecognised the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) and the Archery Association of India (AAI) for manipulation in their election process.
Justifying the decision, Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said AAI violated the Sports Code of India while the election process of the boxing body was faulty.
The AAI election was held in November when Vijay Kumar Malhotra was elected its president for a tenth consecutive term, spanning a period of 40 years. IABF polls took place in September when Abhishek Matoria replaced Abhay Singh Chautala at the helm.
Asked why the government waited this long to take acton, sports secretary P.K. Deb said: "We were waiting for the result of the India Olympic Association (IOA) election. It is just a coincidence that we have come with the decision at this time."
Earlier in the day, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) provisionally suspended IABF for manipulation of its election, a move that comes just two days after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the IOA.
PTI adds: The ministry de-recognised the Archery Association of India (AAI) with immediate effect for "violating the age and tenure guidelines" of the government's Sports Code during its elections last month.
"The Archery Association of India held its elections on 09.11.2012. While the procedures adopted in the elections were in conformity with the procedures laid down in the Sports Code and
common practice, the Archery Association has violated the age and tenure restrictions prescribed in the Sports Code," Sports Minister Jitendra Singh told reporters during a press conference here.
"The President elect of the Archery Association of India has served for more than three consecutive terms in the past and is also above the age of 70 years.
"The High Court in its Civil Writ Petition No.195/2010 dated 15.02.2012 and 17.09.2012 had directed that the government shall not grant recognition to the Archery Association of India
unless they hold elections as per the Sports Code. In view of the directions of the High Court, the government has no option but to withdraw the recognition of the Archery Association of India," the minister said.
During its elections last month, octogenarian BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra was re-elected as the president of the AAI for the 10th term which means he will retain the position for an unprecendented 40th year, a gross violation of the age and tenure guidelines under the Sports Code.
The Sports Minister has advised the AAI to hold fresh elections for the post of president, in conformity with the Sports Code.
Jitendra Singh has also asked the AAI to amend its constitution to bring it in conformity with the Sports Code and the Olympic Charter In a fresh embarrassment for India, the International Boxing Association has provisionally suspended the Indian Boxing Federation alleging "possible manipulation" in its recent elections, prompting the government to suspend recognition to the body.
Barely a few days after the Indian Olympic Association was suspended by the IOC, the sudden development has again brought to fore the "faulty and flawed" electoral practises followed by the federations and has added to the chaos currently engulfing Indian sports.
"Further to the International Olympic Committee's suspension imposed on the Indian Olympic Association, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Executive Committee Bureau has decided today December 6 to provisionally suspend the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF)," the AIBA said in a statement.
"This provisional suspension is also due to the fact that AIBA had learned about possible manipulation of the recent IABF's election.
"AIBA will now investigate this election and especially a potential political link between IOA President, as former Chairman of the IABF, and the IABF election," it added.
During the September elections of the IABF, outgoing President Abhay Singh Chautala, who was elected IOA President despite IOC's suspension, was retained in the body as nominated Chairman.
Interestingly, his brother-in-law and BJP MLA from Rajasthan, Abhishek Matoria, 29, was elected as the new IABF President.
Hours after the new broke out, the Sports Ministry also cracked the whip on IABF by suspending recognition and giving it 15 days to confirm a re-election.
"IABF has been suspended primarily on grounds that elections were flawed and faulty and the nomination time given was very less. When the nomination did not come in, people were just picked from the house. We have given them 15 days time to confirm that they would hold a re-election," said Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.
The Ministry also listed the flaws in the election in a detailed statement. "The publication of the electoral roll was flawed because it was not possible for the electoral roll to be dispatched to
members by post prior to the last date for filing of nominations and merely publishing on the website is not considered sufficient notice or information to all members," it said.
Among other flaws, the Ministry said, "Members were not given sufficient time to file nominations as the gap between the finalisation of the electoral roll and the filing of nomination was too short to allow people to travel large distances and file nominations personally."
Rattled by the suspension, Chautala said he was willing to step down from his post and the body was ready to hold a re-election to regain AIBA's affiliation.
"We are ready for a re-election and I am ready to quit the post of chairman. AIBA can send its observer and fix the date also. I have told the IABF President and Secretary General to speak to the AIBA officials and sort out the matter," Chautala told reporters here.
"Whoever has complained against us is against the country. There is no problem in boxing," he insisted.
The development put a question mark over Chautala's election as IOA President since he came into the fray as an IABF representative.
Chautala, however, asserted that his position in the IOA is not threatened as he is the President of the Haryana Olympic Association.
"Since I am the President of the Haryana Olympic Association, I can continue," he said.
Matoria, meanwhile, said the world body had been apprised of the election process in detail.