Delhi HC permits govt to release funds for Indian team for Special Olympics

Delhi HC has allowed Centre to release funds to enable the participation of the Indian team in the upcoming Special Olympics World Games, 2023

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Press Trust of India New Delhi

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The Delhi High Court has allowed the Centre to release funds to enable the participation of the Indian team in the upcoming Special Olympics World Games, 2023, modifying a 2022 order barring the government from providing assistance to sports federations not compliant with laws governing sports administration.
The court passed the order after the Centre said it was finding it difficult to release money to facilitate the participation of athletes in the Special Olympiad in view of its earlier direction.
The government told the court that it had granted permission on earlier occasions to release funds to help Indian teams participate in various sporting events.
"In view of the above, this Court is inclined to permit the Union of India to release money for travel expenses, accommodation, etc. for the participation of Indian team in Special Olympics World Games, 2023," said a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad in an order passed on June 2.
Special Olympics is set to take place in Berlin between June 17 and June 25.
The court said the funds will be disbursed on training and travel of athletes, arranging coaches for them as well as services like those provided by physiotherapists.

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It said since the sportspersons are differently abled, and a large contingent would be participating in the event, their support staff will also be permitted to go with them.
The court clarified that government money will "not be spent on office bearers of Special Olympics Bharat and office bearers and members of the various sports federations who are not concerned with the sports persons".
It court also asked the committee, which it had earlier appointed to oversee the disbursement of funds, to ensure the money is spent only on the athletes, their training, etc.
"It is made clear that the Government money should be spent only on training and travel of sportsmen, on arranging coaches for them, other necessary equipment and services like on physiotherapists, trainers, etc. for their participation in Special Olympics World Games, 2023," the court said.
"As the sportsmen are intellectually challenged and a large contingent of so many athletes are participating, they require assistance, for which purpose support staff for these sportsmen be permitted to go with the team," it said.
The order was passed in a petition by senior advocate Rahul Mehra seeking compliance with the National Sports Code by National Sports Federations (NSFs).
In April, the court had appointed Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and former Indian Hockey player M M Somaya to the committee constituted to oversee the disbursement of funds to various sports federations for selecting Indian teams to represent the country at the Asian Games to be held in China.
The committee earlier consisted of Secretary of the Department of Sports, Director General of Sports Authority of India and the Joint Secretary of Department of Sports.
The court had directed the Centre on June 3, 2022 to not extend funds or any other assistance to NSFs which are not functioning in compliance with the law on administration of sports in the country.
Mehra, in his petition, has challenged the government's decision of renewing recognition of several NSFs since 2020 even though they were allegedly not in compliance with the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jun 08 2023 | 8:32 PM IST

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