Thursday, June 20, 2024

Sports ministry revokes PCI’s suspension with immediate effect


NEW DELHI,March 5: The Sports Ministry, on Tuesday, lifted the suspension imposed on the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) following the initiation of the electoral process for its long-overdue elections in which multiple-time Paralympic medallist Devendra Jhajharia is set to be elected President.
The suspension, enacted on February 2, was a result of the PCI’s perceived “intentional delay” in electing a new executive committee, in violation of the National Sports Code.
The PCI had originally postponed the elections, which were supposed to be held before January 31, to March 28 due to the upcoming Para Shooting World Cup scheduled from March 6 to 15.
In response to its suspension, the PCI proposed March 9 as the new date for electing governing body members and commenced the nomination process, with many top posts expected to be uncontested.
The Sports Ministry acknowledged that the “main ground for suspension of government recognition” has been effectively addressed by the PCI through the initiation of the election process.
Consequently, the suspension has been revoked, allowing the PCI to proceed with its electoral proceedings and pave the way for the election of a new executive committee.
“…since the election process has reached the stage where the nominated candidates have been deemed to be duly elected unanimously, as well as the important fact that PCI is hosting 2024 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup from 06-15 March, 2024 at New Delhi, it has been decided to revoke the suspension of PCI, with immediate effect,” read a ministry letter to PCI.
“The Returning Officer for election of PCI has vide notification dated 04.03.2024, notified the list of unopposed candidates deemed to be duly elected, in terms of Article 9 sub clause (1) of Model Election Guidelines (Annexure-XXXVII of the Sports Code 2011),”it added.
The Para Shooting World Cup offers 24 Paris Paralympic quota places, and more than 500 shooters from 52 countries will be seen in action in the event to be held at Delhi’s Karni Singh Range.
The 42-year-old Jhajharia, a multiple-time Paralympic gold medallist, secured an uncontested path to the presidency of the PCI. Jhajharia, who clinched gold in the 2004 Athens and 2016 Rio Paralympics in the F46 disability category, emerged as the sole candidate to file nomination papers for the PCI chief’s post.
The returning officer, Umesh Sinha, issued a list of candidates who submitted nominations for various positions within the committee, with Jhajharia being the lone nominee for the president’s role.
Consequently, there will be no contest for the major posts, including the presidency, as Jhajharia is poised to assume the leadership unopposed.
While the top positions are uncontested, voting is anticipated for the five executive committee slots, where eight candidates have submitted their nomination papers.
Despite being eligible to contest for the top post, outgoing president Deepa Malik decided to throw her support behind Jhajharia’s candidature, further solidifying his path to becoming the new president of the Paralympic Committee of India.
Jhajharia’s remarkable career, marked by Paralympic triumphs and other international accolades, positions him as a prominent figure in the Paralympic movement in India.
Jayawant Hammanawar, an international coach and referee from Goa, is the lone candidate for secretary general’s post.
R Chandrashekhar and Satya Prakash Sangwan are set to be elected unopposed as the two vice-presidents, while Sunil Pradhan was the lone candidate for the treasurer’s post. Lalit Thakur and T Diwakara are set to be the two joint secretaries.
The eight candidates who are in the fray for the five executive committee members are: Sutapa Chakrabarty, Bhati Chandulal Tarachandji, Sandeep Kumar, Usha Manaki, Amrik Singh, Chandan Roy Choudhary, Shaminder Singh Dhillon and Singarapu Babu.
The PCI had found support from the International Paralympic Committee after the suspension. The IPC had said that it would continue to recognise the PCI as the only body for para sports in India.
(ToI With PTI inputs)