The Sports Ministry has taken a decisive step by suspending the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), led by Deepa Malik, due to a significant delay in conducting elections for its executive committee. The ministry expressed concern, labelling the delay “willful and intentional.”
The previous elections for PCI took place in September 2019. However, due to a Delhi High Court order in January 2020, the results were not declared until then. Consequently, the term of the Executive Committee ended on January 31, 2024. According to the Sports Ministry, the elections for the new Executive Committee should have taken place before the previous committee’s term expires.
However, PCI issued a notice on January 22, 2024, stating that the elections would be held on March 28, 2024, in Bengaluru. This announcement raised concerns as it indicated a substantial gap almost two months after the previous committee’s term had ended.
SAI to form an Ad Hoc Committee!
In response to these developments, the ministry has directed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to collaborate with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to form an Ad Hoc Committee. This committee will comprise eminent administrators and sportspersons tasked with overseeing the operations of PCI.
Their responsibilities include conducting free, fair, and transparent elections following the Sports Code and the PCI constitution. The goal is to safeguard the interests of Indian para-sportspersons and para-sports disciplines during this transitional period.
Furthermore, the Sports Ministry emphasised the importance of conducting elections for the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and National Sports Federations (NSFs) at least one month before the office bearers’ terms expire. This underlines the ministry’s commitment to ensuring timely and orderly transitions in sports organisations.
In summary, the Sports Ministry’s decision to suspend PCI highlights its dedication to upholding the principles of fair governance and transparency in sports administration. The formation of an Ad Hoc Committee reflects a proactive approach to safeguarding the interests of para-sportspersons during this period of organisational transition.