There is a general feeling all around that corrective measures Hockey India needed to undertake as a national sports federation has well and truly begun, with the Delhi High Court recent ruling that the position of Life Member and Life President were “illegal” since they were not in consonance with the National Sports Code. The Delhi High Court has put in place a high-powered three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) – former Supreme Cour judge Justice Anil R Dave, former Chief Election Commissioner SY Qureshi, and former Indian captain and Olympian Zafar Iqbal to run the day-to-day affairs of Hockey India.
It does not a rocket scientist to fathom that not everything was hunky-dory in Hockey India although one cannot brush aside the fact Batra did his bit for the betterment of Indian hockey. There was a general line of thought that despite the IOA President and FIH President, he was always showing ‘interest’ in the affairs of Hockey India. The Delhi High Court delivered the ruling while hearing a petition filed by former Indian hockey fullback and a member of India’s 1975 World Cup-winning team, Aslam Sher Khan, who had challenged Batra’s appointment as life member of Hockey India.
“This is a landmark judgement by the Delhi High Court and is a telling statement of how inappropriately the affairs of Hockey India were run. There has been blatant fund misuse. Hockey India CEO Elena Norman was enjoying executive, secretary general, and president powers,” says Aslam Sher Khan in a chat with Hockey Passion.
The former defender has no doubts that the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) will bring more accountability in Hockey India and benefit the country’s hockey in the long run. “I’m optimistic about the future. Indian hockey will hugely benefit in the long run,” he says.
Of course, the larger objective of the three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) is to hire a professional to run Hockey India, correct the HI constitution and put it in line with the National Sports Code and subsequently hold fair elections and hand over the reins of HI to the newly elected, democratic body. One hopes that the ruling by the Delhi High Court would drive more transparency and accountability in Hockey India, and more importantly, have people with integrity run the sport.