The SC will hear a plea against maintaining the title of the AIFF committee

Indian football team: SC to hear plea against keeping committee at the helm of AIFF- The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea from the Delhi Football Club alleging illegal retention of a committee and Praful Patel as president of the Indian Football Federation (AIFF) for more than a decade. Follow InsideSport.IN for more updates

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana has been told by lawyer Prashant Bhushan that an illegal committee continues to run the AIFF due to the failure to hear a motion by the football body against the decision of 2017 from the Delhi High Court.

Indian football team: SC to hear plea against keeping committee at the helm of AIFF

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“In 2017, the last Football Federation election was overturned by the Delhi High Court. When an SLP was filed in this court, this court appointed a committee headed by former Election Commissioner and Sports Secretary SY Quraishi to prepare a Constitution for the AIFF in accordance with the Sports Code. Even this was done a long time ago..” Bhushan told the bench which also included Judges Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli.

Due to the lack of a hearing, the same illegal committee has been at the helm for more than 10 years, he said, and has requested a hearing next week.

“OK let’s see,” said the bench.

An interim claim has been filed by Delhi Football Club in the appeal pending before the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the Ministry of Sports filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court stating that Praful Patel has no mandate to continue as AIFF President as he has already served three terms and the national body should organize elections without further delay.

Indian football team: SC to hear plea against keeping committee at the helm of AIFF

The affidavit was filed regarding a Special Leave Application (SLP) filed by the AIFF, the Department of Sports said Patel’s tenure violated the Sporting Code.

“…the term of the existing committee (of AIFF) has already ended, and the current President (Praful Patel) has completed more than 12 years as President, the petitioner (AIFF) should hold elections without further delay in accordance with existing instructions contained in the Sports Code and instructions issued by the Respondent (Ministry of Sports) from time to time”, says the department’s affidavit.

Patel completed his three terms and 12 years as AIFF President in December 2020, the maximum allowed for a National Sports Federation (NSF) chief under the Sports Code.

The AIFF, however, did not hold the elections, citing a pending Supreme Court petition regarding its constitution.

The AIFF filed a petition with the Supreme Court just a month before its scheduled election date, seeking certain clarifications on the status of its constitution, which had been under review by the Supreme Court since 2017.

Indian football team: SC to hear plea against keeping committee at the helm of AIFF

In 2017, the Delhi High Court overturned Patel’s election as AIFF President (at the 2016 AGM) following a petition by lead lawyer Rahul Mehra.

But the Supreme Court had suspended the High Court’s ruling, allowing Patel to continue in his role, while appointing India’s former chief election commissioner SY Quraishi and former national captain Bhaskar Ganguly as directors and to formulate the constitution of the AIFF.

Patel has however said in the past that he cannot take part in any AIFF elections, but somehow the national federation polls did not take place for well known reasons of the former union minister and his faction.

In February, at the AIFF’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, Patel finally agreed to set up a committee to look into the matter.

The three-member committee was asked to submit its report within three months.

Indian football team: SC to hear plea against keeping committee at the helm of AIFF

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