Former India captain Bhaskar Ganguly, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, has urged the apex court to approve the constitution formulated by the panel and ask the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to conduct elections under its aegis.
In a letter written to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, Ganguly, a decorated India international, informed that he and co-administrator S Y Quraishi have submitted the draft constitution of the AIFF in January 2020.
In a 2017 order, the SC had appointed a Committee of Administrators comprising former Chief Election Commissioner Quraishi and Ganguly to formulate the constitution of the AIFF in consonance with the National Sports Code.
“The same has been submitted by us in January 2020, but to date there is not much movement in the case, resulting (in) the AIFF (being) unable to take any decision for election and their present president complete his tenure as per the terms," Ganguly wrote in the letter.
“My prayer to the Hon’ble Court is to take priority of this case and approve the new constitution and advise to implement to AIFF immediately and conduct the election as per the ‘new constitution’ so that development of football in India can continue."
Ganguly said he was unable to hire any advocate as he was “working on this project without any financial support from anywhere (sports ministry/AIFF)."
Meanwhile, the pending case is set to come up before a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday. The SLP has been listed before a bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Surya Kant and P S Narasimha.
On Thursday, the SC had agreed to hear a plea of Delhi Football Club alleging the “illegal" continuation of the (executive) committee and Praful Patel as president of AIFF for over a decade.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana was told by lawyer Prashant Bhushan that an illegal committee is continuing to head the AIFF due to the non-hearing of a petition of the football body against the 2017 decision of the Delhi High Court.
The AIFF elections were due in December 2020 but it has held the polls, citing the pending case in the Supreme Court regarding its constitution.
Patel completed his three terms and 12 years as AIFF president in December 2020, the maximum permitted to a national sports federation chief under the Sports Code.
The AIFF moved an application in the SC only a month before its elections were due, seeking certain clarifications on the status of its constitution, which was under scrutiny in the apex court since 2017.
In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court last month, the Sports Ministry had said that Patel has no mandate to continue as AIFF president as he has already served three terms and the national body should hold elections without any further delay.