Abhinav Bindra and MM Somaya Are Now Part of the Committee Overseeing Funds’ Allocation to Sports Federations

While hearing writ petitions[1] challenging the renewal of recognition granted to certain sports federations in violation of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, the Delhi High Court passed an order dated April 25, 2023, appointing Olympic Gold Medalist and retired sport shooter, Abhinav Bindra and former field hockey player, MM Somaya as members of the Committee to oversee the disbursement of government funds to sports federations. Apart from said members, the Committee has three other members – the Secretary and Joint Secretary of the Department of Sports and the Director General of the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Earlier, by an order dated June 3, 2022, the Delhi High Court had ruled that no more government funds would be provided to any National Sports Federations (NSFs) and that monies, patronage and other facilities would be resumed only on due compliance with the Sports Code and the Supreme Court pronouncements. However, the court decided to modify the said order and rejected the Central Government’s contention that there is no need for any third party to oversee the release of funds to NSFs since there is already a mechanism in place. It has been further clarified that the government money should be utilized only for the training of sportspersons, covering the expenses of their travel concerning their selection in the Indian team for the upcoming Asian Games, etc. and that it should not be spent on office bearers of sports federations.

[1] WP(C) 8691/2020 and WP(C) 17601/2022