Himachal passes Sports Bill 2015 to regulate sports bodies

North Gazette News/Shimla
Himachal government on Thursday passed Sports Bill 2015 for registration, recognition and regulation of sports associations in the state.

Speaking after passing of Sports Bill 2015 in state assembly, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that at present there is no regulation for these Sports associations, to meet out these objectives.

“It is nowhere the intention of the Government to control sports associations,” said Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh adding that that by careful examination of the Bill one will know that the aim of this Bill is to extend control on the sports associations.

“The objective of this Bill is to democratise the functioning of the sports associations and to make them accountable for performance in games and sports,” he said, adding that he fails to understand that why the opposition was creating furore over the Bill when the arbitration clause has been associated in the Bill itself.

He said that it is nowhere provided that any legislation by the State Government would debar the players from selection in Olympics games.

He said that a writ petition filed against the similar legislation was dismissed by High Court of Rajasthan and it was unfortunate that the hon’ble ,members of the state assembly were objecting to the passing of the Bill. It would have been better that the opposition members instead of having faith in their own judicial prudence should better have faith in judicial verdict, he said.

The Chief Minister said the Sport Bill 2015 aims to fulfill following objectives:-

· The legislation aims to democratize the sports bodies and intend to regulate them for the purpose of legislation, elections, maintenance of accounts and financial accountability, rights and obligations of these associations for promoting sports and games in Himachal Pradesh from village to State level.

· The department of Sports and Youth is mandated to strengthen the stakeholders. The Sports associations at the district and the State level are the main instruments through which the department, as a catalyst, encourages the sports person to achieve excellence in their respective fields. These objectives of inculcating democratic values, fair play equity intended to be realized.

· This legislation proposes that every Sports Association, schedule ‘B’ in the bill other than Primary Sports Body, shall be required to be registered.

· The Registrar of co-operative Societies shall perform the functions of the Registrar for the purpose of this legislation.

· Every sports association mandated to frame its Constitution consisting of memorandum and bye-laws. Every such association shall have an executive body duly elected through a democratic process and election of the Executive Body shall be held once in every four years.

· The legislation provides that there will be an independent election officer to supervise, control and conduct the elections of theses sports associations and entrusted with the task of publication of voters list and other statutory requirements like notice and conduct of election through ballot etc, to ensure fair elections.

· Every registered district level sports association shall be a member of the concerned State Level Sports Association and every Primary Sports Body shall be a member of the respective district level sports association. Hence a chain from primary sports body upto State level is envisaged.

· The legislation wants to safeguard the interest of sports person, due to which, right and obligation have been imposed upon all the State and district level sports Association i.e. maintenance of record, timely conduct of championships, sending players to State and National Level tournaments, providing coaching and other facilities etc to the sports person of the State.

· The legislation focuses to establish a system, in which, the sports and games get the special attention, primary attention through these sports associations so that stakeholders may get the best of opportunities to represent the State.

· This legislation wants to stop the infighting amongst various associations at district and State level in various sports, which are fighting the cases in the competent court of adjudication through mechanism of arbitration.

· The legislation has given right to appeal to the aggrieved party to file an appeal against the orders of Registrar before the appellant authority.

· This legislation covers all Sports Associations in Himachal Pradesh. Presently 42 Associations have been included in Schedule ‘B’ which cover nearly all sports like Football, Basketball, Athletics, Hockey, Cricket, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball etc. If required, more Associations can be added or deleted from the Schedule.

· The legislation covers all aspects, which are necessary for regulation of Sports Associations to enable them to function in a democratic manner, remain accountable with regard to promotion of all games and sports and prosper in a free and fair environment and to uphold the cause of sportspersons of this State.