SC negotiates plea against continuation of committee leadership AIFF | football news

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by Delhi Football Club alleging the illegal continuation of a committee and Praful Patel as president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for over a decade.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan told a bank run by Chief Justice NV Ramana that an illegal committee continues to run the AIFF since a petition by the Football Association against the 2017 Delhi High Court decision was not heard.
“In 2017 the last election of the Football Association was overturned by the Delhi High Court. When an SLP was filed with this court, this court appointed a committee headed by former election commissioner and sports secretary SY Quraishi to prepare a constitution for AIFF in accordance with the Sports Law. Even that was done a long time ago,” Bhushan told the bench, which also included Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli.
Because of the non-hearing, the same illegal committee has been at the helm for over 10 years, he said, requesting a hearing next week.
“Okay, we’ll see,” the bank said.
In the pending appeal in the High Court, an interim application was made by the Delhi Football Club.
Earlier, the Department of Sport had filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court saying that Praful Patel has no mandate to continue as AIFF President as he has already served three terms and the national body should hold elections without further delay.
The affidavit was filed in relation to a Special Leave (SLP) petition filed by the AIFF. The Department of Sport said Patel’s tenure violated the Sports Act.
“… the term of office of the existing Committee (the AIFF) has already expired and the current President (Praful Patel) has served more than 12 years as President, the petitioner (AIFF) should, under existing instructions, without further delay, hold elections under contained in the Sports Code and the instructions issued from time to time by the respondent (Ministry of Sports),” the ministry’s affidavit said.
Patel completed his three terms and 12 years as AIFF President in December 2020, the maximum allowed for a National Sport Federation (NSF) chief under the Sports Act.
However, the AIFF did not hold the elections, citing a petition pending in the Supreme Court regarding its constitution.
The AIFF filed a complaint with the Supreme Court just a month before its election was due to seek certain clarifications on the status of its constitution, which has been under review in the Apex Court since 2017.
In 2017, the Delhi High Court overturned Patel’s election as AIFF President (at the 2016 AGM) at the request of lead counsel Rahul Mehra.
But the Supreme Court had stayed the High Court’s decision, allowing Patel to continue in his role while also appointing former Chief Election Commissioner of India SY Quraishi and former National Captain Bhaskar Ganguly as administrators and drafting the AIFF constitution.
However, Patel has said in the past that he cannot vote in any AIFF elections, but somehow the national association elections were not held for reasons best known to the former union minister and his group.
In February, at the AIFF general meeting in Mumbai, Patel finally agreed to form a committee to look into the matter.
The three-member committee was asked to present its report in three months.

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