TOI Exclusive: IOA’s amended constitution – SOAs lose voting rights, no proxy voting, CEO can’t be former office-bearer & no more than three terms for EC | More sports News



NEW DELHI: It’s official now. State Olympic Associations (SOAs) have lost their voting rights in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). They have been reduced to as ‘Associate Members’ “who cannot stand in elections, cannot vote for any decision and also cannot vote in elections of the IOA”. The development came on a day when the Supreme Court allowed the amendment to the constitution of the IOA to be circulated among the members of the national Olympic committee (NOC) which can then be formally adopted in its general body meeting scheduled on November 10 here. A two-judge bench composed of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli also accepted the court-appointed one-man committee of retired SC judge, Justice L Nageswara Rao, to hold the IOA’s executive body elections on December 10.
The elections will be held for following positions: “president, one senior vice president, two vice presidents, including one male and one female VP, treasurer, two joint secretaries including one male and one female JS, six other executive council (EC) members out of which one male and one female shall be from the elected SOMs (sportsperson of outstanding merits) and two representatives, one male and one female, elected by the athletes’ commission from among its members”. No proxy voting will be allowed.
In a copy of the amended draft constitution of the IOA, which is with TOI, it has been suggested that the membership of the IOA for person(s) to be eligible to stand for the elections and cast their votes at the annual general meetings (AGMs) and special general body meetings (SGBMs) will comprise of: “two representatives (one male and one female) with one vote each for each representative of the national sports federations (NSFs) whose sports are included in the programme of the Olympic/Asian/Commonwealth Games; member(s) of the IOC in India with one vote each (founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani is India’s IOC member); two representatives (one male and one female) of the athletes’ commission with one vote each; and eight representatives (4 male and 4 female) who are sportspersons of outstanding merit with one vote each”.
The amended constitution has given the IOC member in India the right to vote, given he/she must be an ex-officio member of the EC. As suggested by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in its roadmap to hold IOA’s elections in a time-bound manner, the post of an elected secretary general has been done away with and has now been replaced with an ‘appointed’ secretary general position who will be hired by the EC after being proposed by a “nomination committee comprising of the president, chairman of the athletes’ commission and one IOC member from India”.
“The CEO must be a person who is a management professional with management experience of at least 10 (ten) years as the CEO of a company/entity with a turnover of at least rupees 25 crores. The CEO shall not be a former office-bearer of the IOA or a national sport federation (NSF). On completion of the CEO’s term of employment, he/she shall not be eligible to contest to be a member or office-bearer of the IOA. The financial powers of the CEO are restricted to sanctioning of Rs 2,00,000/-,” the constitution read. The CEO will be an ex-officio member of the EC with no voting rights.
Coming to the age and tenure part, the amended constitution has categorically stated that no member will be allowed to hold office for more than three terms and shall be eligible for any post of office-bearer if he/she has attained the age of 70 on the election date. “Office-bearers of the association shall be elected for a term not exceeding four years; they may be eligible for re-election if the office-bearers obtain more than 50 percent of the votes validly cast by the members present and voting in the election; no member shall be eligible for any post of office-bearer if he/she has attained the age of 70 (seventy) on the election date; no office-bearer shall be allowed to hold office for more than three terms; no member shall hold one or more office-bearer post for more than two consecutive terms; an office bearer shall have to undergo a cooling-off period after two consecutive terms, subsequent to which he/she shall be eligible to hold office for another term; two terms shall be treated as consecutive when the gap between them is less than the cooling off period; members who have already completed three terms (consecutive or not) in any post of office-bearer shall not be eligible to contest for any post of office-bearer.”
Apart from other parameters, a member will become ineligible to be part of the IOA’s functioning “upon conviction of an offence and being sentenced for a period of more than two years. In the event a person is convicted and sentenced for a period of less than two years, the matter shall be referred to the IOA’s ethics commission for opinion, after the completion of the sentence. Where charges have been framed by any Court in India, in respect of an offence for which a sentence of a period of more than two) years can be imposed, the member’s/office-bearer’s membership of the IOA shall be deemed to be suspended until completion of the trial.”
The constitution, as well as any subsequent change or modification to it, will be subjected to the IOC for its approval.


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