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Sports Dispute Resolution Procedures In India: Resolving Static Practice

Due to globalization and the commercialization of sports in general, internationalization of sports has made it a sizable enterprise and contributed to the fusion of law and sports. The field of sports has grown significantly in a short period of time in India, which completely changed the nature of the industry as a whole and caused it to become more commercialized rather than just being regarded a leisure activity.

This is particularly so given the exorbitant sums of money involved in a few of the primary sports. Many a times court cases get dragged on for extended lengths of time and to formulate this issue and to curb it, the necessity of incorporating a permanent Sports dispute Resolution Body in India.

Indian Arbitration Court Of Sports And It's Present Day Status

The Indian Olympic Association recommended the establishment of the Indian Court for Sports Arbitration (herein referred as ICAS) in 2011. Having just been established a new body which was led by, J.AR Lakshmanan, a former justice of the Supreme Court, and other eminent High Court justices include Justices MR Culla and BA Khan, etc.

These were the first ever and historic landmark moment for the Sports committee of India as for the very first time in the country efforts had been made to allow for a specialized area of conflict settlement inside the Sports Industry. The main aim of this arbitral committee was to create a channel for hearing from the Indian Athletes and deciding their issues in light of any conflict that may arise.

This was the watershed event for the country's sports in terms of dispute resolution. The aim and the proposed benefits were well planned considering the recommendations made by the IOA. With the establishment of ICAS in 2011, there was anticipated that Indian sporting issues would experience better days `ahead with the establishment of the dispute resolving committee.

As swiftly as it was implemented, the ICAS faded away, the lack of sports expertise was mostly blamed for this. And the cases started to be referred to Court of Arbitration For Sports (CAS) and other foreign arbitration bodies.

Role Of National Sports Federation And CAS

India's system for resolving sports disputes is not well established, and there is no fixed format for it. The National Sports Federation (NSF) has made some steps to reduce this uncertainty by developing some sort of internal dispute resolution process. However, the NSF's action did not prove to be very useful. Because the NSF lacked the necessary expertise to resolve sports-related disputes, the athlete finally had to turn to the legal system to obtain a fair resolution.

National Sports Development Code, 2011 made it mandatory for the NSF to have written rules, but till date not all the NSF's are able to draft the written rules. The National Sports Code of 2011 contains a clause that allows for an appeal to the CAS regarding any decision made by the Sports Federation of India, according to the court in the case of Rajiv Dutta v. Union of India.

The court in this decision also provided guidance for the NSF to incorporate a CAS clause in the constitution within three months, but due to a lack of sanctions for non-compliance, none of the NSFs ever followed these instructions. According to the updated legislation published in 2016, each NSF is required to create a written draft of their constitution as well as to provide information regarding the usage of CAS and the applicable jurisdiction.

A National Sports Ethics Commission Bill 2016 was also created by the legislation, in which it was declared that national commissions would become quasi-judicial adjudicating bodies where NSFs would be charged. To provide more information regarding this late notice, another notification will be made public.

Current Mode Of Resources For Arbitration

Regarding the fundamental purpose of ADR, it has always been to lessen the complaints and issues brought on by the legal disputes. It has progressively developed into the mechanism for the public to air their grievances for quick justice giving them a place to be heard. Without going into further detail on the benefits of dispute resolution, it has become predominant to call attention to the problems faced by the Indian Athletes in the past.

Athletes can resolve their issues in one of two ways: by filing complaints with the appropriate court, or by working with their individual sports associations. Both routes have been plagued by inefficient bureaucracy, delays, and, regrettably, incidences of misconduct (in true Indian fashion). The majority of Indian sportsmen are left stuck at the whim of the procedure since they have no other options than these two courses.

If we discuss India's current situation in relation to sports dispute resolution, or CAS, we can say that India is still in its infancy or that it is in the process of evolving. There is currently no sports dispute resolution organization formed in India. The issue that the India sports law faces is the intervention of the courts in Indian sports regulatory organization. The Indian Olympic Association received a draft of the "Sports Tribunal of India Act, 2010" from the secretary general of the Indian sports law and welfare association in 2010, which described the Indian court of arbitration for sports.

The draft was approved by the Indian Olympic Association in 2011 and utilized at the National Games held in Jharkhand. The UPA administration stated in 2012 that one of the reasons the same act had not yet been put into effect was due to the members of the Indian Court of Arbitration for Sports lacked sufficient expertise of sports law.

Although the establishment of the ICAS in 2011 was regarded as a positive development, its execution and enforcement have raised concerns. The inclusion of a structured grievance redressal mechanism with competent arbitrators according to certain norms and regulations can close the gap between the two.

It is vital to put arbitrators and mediators in charge, not only in athletics but in other areas of Indian life where justice must be decided on complex issues requiring specialized understanding. Regarding sports legislation, a new act should be created where the sports dispute settlement method should be stated.

Additionally, the Indian Olympic Association, the National Sports Federation, and the Indian government shouldn't have any influence over this procedure. Arbitration involving sports-related disputes should be handled by a separate entity. It's important to make clear the CAS situation as well. The authority ought to govern with clarity and justice, just as CAS, to resolve a sporting dispute.

Today, the CAS is recognized by several nations, but it is still unclear if India would embrace it. The CAS has turned out to be a great and remarkable authority when it comes to the sports arbitration. As sport is an international event, there needs to be a uniformity in the rules and the decision. CAS is providing that uniformity to the players of all the country.

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