The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports suspended the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for not conducting elections on time, violating the PCI constitution on Saturday. The announcements came as a big blow to the Indian sports contingent as Paris hosts the Paralympics 2024 in August-September.
In a letter issued to the President of the Paralympic Committee of India, the Sports Ministry revealed that the last PCI elections were held in 2019 and the four-year term ended on January 31, 2024. The PCI announced its decision to hold the election to form a new executive committee in March 2024, two months after the expiry of the current committee, which violates the federation’s own constitutes.
According to the Sports Ministry regulations, the elections for the new office bearers for any federation under the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) should be held a month before the expiry of the ongoing committee.
The Sports Ministry’s letter also added that despite knowing an expiry date, the current committee’s decision to hold elections in March is ‘willful, intentional and without any valid reason’.
“Taking note of the intentional delay by the PCI in the conduct of the election to elect a new executive committee, vis a vis the essentiality of upholding good governance and accountability standards in sports federations nationwide and the requirements of all the NFSs, NOC, NPC, to adhere strictly to the sports code, the Government is left with no choice to but to suspend the recognition of PCI with immediate effect till further orders,” the Sports Ministry’s letter to PCI said.