NEW DELHI, Jan 30 - A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court today seeking the removal of Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from the post of president of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), alleging that his appointment was in violation of the apex court order that a minister or a public servant cannot become an office-bearer in a sports body.
The petition filed by Delhi-based Kamlesh Verma, also sought the apex court�s direction to supersede other office-bearers of the BAI with immediate effect and call for relevant records pertaining to the sports body�s financial transactions ever since Sarma took charge as its president.
The PIL, which also alleged that Sarma was facing graft charges in the Saradha chit fund scam and had been summoned by the CBI in the matter, sought direction to appoint a committee of administrators, as done by the top court in the case of the country�s apex cricket body BCCI in 2016, to ensure smooth functioning of the BAI.
The apex court had on July 18, 2016 accepted Justice Lodha Committee recommendations on reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), including a bar on ministers and civil servants, and those above 70, from becoming its members.
Sarma was appointed the BAI president on April 23 last year after its then president Akhilesh Das Gupta died during his tenure.
�At present, BAI is headed by a person (Sarma) who is an active politician from the ruling party in the Centre. He is not only a Member of Legislative Assembly but also a Minister in the State Government of Assam and holding other important posts in the Party. As far as the Petitioner knows, he has never been a badminton player at any level and thus, he has no connection whatsoever with the sport of badminton.
�Apart from being an active politician, having no connection with Badminton, he is facing corruption charges too and one of them is relating to Saradha chit fund scam in which he had been summoned by CBI and his house was also raided by CBI in this regard,� the petition, filed through advocate DK Devesh, alleged.
The petitioner challenged the appointment of Sarma as the president of BAI and alleged that his continuance was �in violation of Rule of Law and completely arbitrary, and therefore, in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.�
The petition sought an ex parte order for appointment of a committee to look after all the affairs of the BAI for the welfare of the players, transparent financial management and good administration.