National Sports Code is the law and the federations which are not complying with it cannot be granted recognition, the Delhi High Court said on Friday, while granting a last opportunity to the Centre to show that the 41 National Sports Federations granted recognition were complying with the requirements of the code.
The High Court said in case of failure of the Centre in complying with its direction, the secretary of sports, ministry of youth affairs and sports will have to be present before in the hearing.
“We grant one last opportunity to the respondent (Centre) to comply with the order of November 6, 2020 failing which we direct the secretary (sports), ministry of youth affairs and sports to remain present during the next hearing. The affidavit shall be filed within 10 days,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Najmi Waziri said.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on January 22.
The special bench was hearing a plea challenging the recognition granted to the 41 National Sports Federations.
During the hearing, senior advocate Sachin Dutta and central government standing counsel Anil Soni, representing the Centre, sought some more time to file a reply in the matter.
This was opposed by petitioner lawyer and sports activist Rahul Mehra who said enough time has already been granted to the authorities who have filed an affidavit earlier and washed off their hands.
The bench, which was annoyed over non-compliance of its earlier order, said, “You need to change the game you are playing. You were playing soft ball, now you have to play hard ball. There is no compliance of the sports code. What is this happening?”
The bench observed that the National Sports Development Code is the law of today because the Supreme Court has said it has to be followed in totality.