India is a huge country and a land of umpteen sports. While sports like cricket have been followed like a religion, present times have brought about a progressive change and many other sports have are being followed now like never before. The ministry of youth affairs and sports is responsible for handling the administration and funding of sports. The cabinet minister heads the ministry and the national sports federation manages it.
As the form of recreation has grown by leaps and bounds and India has become a brimming venue for holding many national and international events during its time that rules and regulations are also in place. Hence the need to have sports laws in place and thus banish the grey areas. The UN has already recognized sport as a way of promoting health, education, and development, hence the need to streamline the field with suitable law system.
In India presently there is no state legislation to regulate sports. The government had undertaken the infrastructure development task and excellence achievement task in sports but the administration and sports activities are in hands of autonomous authorities like Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Sports Authority of India (SAI), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Though these governing bodies to receive the government’s aid as they are registered under the societies registration’s act of 1860.
As far as sports policy in India is concerned, the national sports policy 1984/2001 is already in place with was brought into force in the year 1984 but it was realized only later that the bill was not complete and even the implementation. Hence in 2001, a bid was reformulated to revise the bill with guidelines as follows –
- Procedures to be laid down for autonomous bodies and federations for making government aid and assistance available.
- Define responsibilities of different agencies for undertaking and promoting sports.
- Identify the sports federations with coverage eligibility under the set guidelines
This was the policy which leads the lawmakers to give importance to sports thus making way for inclusion of sports in the constitution at the seventh schedule in the state list.
The other organizations include sports law and welfare association of India, a non-profit organization that works for the advancement of ethical sports law in India and sports promotion. Another being sports authority of India, set up in 1984 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, its objective is bringing excellence into sports. Then there is the National Sports Federation, SAI, National Anti-doping agency. But, like the USA has a systematic approach towards sports law and has divided the area in amateur, professional and international categories with relevant laws for each, there is no such approach in India and moreover, there are many grey areas also that have come forth and which indicate maladministration in sports.
With many sports gaining popularity and due to their immense reach, it is important that the loopholes in the law system are looked into with keen interest and laws are passed which favor the sports without any kind of bias.