Mudgal submits revised draft of National Sports Development Bill

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal, chairman of the Working Group for Drafting of the National Sports Development Bill 2013, Wednesday submitted the revised draft of the proposed legislation to Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.

In the revised draft, duties have been assigned to the National Olympic Committee (NOC) 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 RTI and submission of reports to Parliament.

The draft also proposes setting up an Appellate Sports Tribunal with the selection committee consisting of the Chief Justice of India or his/her nominee judge, secretary, Department of Sports, and president, NOC.

An Ethics Commission has been proposed which shall enforce a Code of Ethics which shall be in accordance with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) code and principles enshrined in the Constitution of India.

A sports election commission has been proposed under the Bill to conduct free and fair elections to the NOC, NSFs and the Athletes Commission.

A two-fold system for functioning of National Sport Federations has been envisaged. Recognition and accreditation of the NSFs depends on the international federation and the NOC.

All accredited NSFs will have to ensure that office bearer shall retire at the age of 70 years, athletes nominated by the Athletes Commission shall be included in the decision-making process of the executive body. They also have to make sure that the total strength of the athletes in the executive body shall not be less than 25 percent of members having voting rights.

The NSF also has to ensure that representation of either gender is not less than 10 percent of the membership in the General Body. A person against whom criminal charges have been framed under the Criminal Procedure Code (section 228) shall be ineligible to contest elections to the NOC/NSF. A person who has served as an Office Bearer on the executive body of a NSF/NOC for two consecutive terms shall be ineligible to stand for election.

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

All federations seeking direct or indirect funding have to be accredited by the government and shall have to comply with the accreditation requirements. All applications for accreditation have to be decided in 90 days from the date of receipt.

In order to represent India in international events and to have the 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).

The draft Bill was formulated and placed before the Cabinet Aug 30, 2011 when Ajay Maken was the sports minister. But the Bill was rejected by the Cabinet, which decided that that the legislation needs to be recast.

The Government made the revised bill public Oct 10, 2011 but the sports ministry felt that it needs to be revised again and formed a working group headed by Justice Mudgal, a retired judge.

The other members of the working group are Abhinav Bindra and Viren Rasquinha, sports administrators and legal experts.

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