New Delhi: The Sports Ministry on Friday lifted the suspension on the Indian Olympic Association with immediate effect after it removed the corruption-tainted duo of Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as life presidents following widespread outrage.
The ministry said that it was revoking the suspension of deemed recognition of IOA handed down on December 30 last following its admission of "faux pas" while making Kalmadi and Chautala as life presidents.
"Government has decided to revoke the suspension of deemed recognition of IOA with immediate effect in the light of the corrective action taken by them in reversing its earlier decision making Shri Abhay Singh Chautala and Shri Suresh Kalmadi, Life Presidents of IOA," the ministry said in a statement.
"In the light of the above developments and keeping in view the larger interest of promotion and development of sports in the country, the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has revoked the suspension of deemed recognition of IOA, imposed on 30.12.2016, with immediate effect," it added.
The ministry, however, asked the IOA to uphold the highest standards of probity and ethics in future also.
"Since IOA has admitted the faux pas committed and regretted the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to all concerned, it is expected of IOA that it will uphold the highest standard of probity and ethics in its functioning in future," the ministry said.
IOA President N Ramachandran welcomed the ministry's decision.
"If the ministry revokes the suspension, it is good news for IOA. As far as I am concerned, if the government revokes the suspension, I am thankful to the ministry," Ramachandran told PTI.
Ramachandran, in his reply to a showcause notice served by the Ministry, had said that the decision to appoint Kalmadi and Chautala does not stand owing to technicalities.
"In the Annual General Meeting held in Chennai on 27.12.2016, at the fag end of the meeting a point was raised by a member stating that IOA should nominate two life presidents. As no notice in writing was received at least 7 clear days as per the Constitution Clause VII no resolution was put to vote and passed," Ramachandran had claimed.
"...members can make proposals in the meeting but if it does not meet provisions of the Constitution it cannot be assumed that the proposal has been approved and passed in the meeting. Since the proposal was not in accordance with the Constitution, the inconvenience and embarrassment caused to the individuals concerned, members of IOA and to all is regretted," he added.
Kalmadi and Chautala were elevated to the honorary position at the IOA's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Chennai on December 27, but the Olympic body was forced to reverse its decision after it was opposed by a majority of IOA members.
Kalmadi declined the post till his name was cleared following the outrage, while Chautala said he would also step aside should the International Olympic Committee raise any objections.
While Kalmadi is an accused in the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scam and has also spent nine months in jail, Chautala is facing a trial in disproportionate assets case.