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Development of Sports Law from Sports and Law in India

Sports have been an integral part of human advancement, not just physically but more importantly mentally. A famous saying goes “all work, and no play makes jack a dull boy.”
The deep-seated connection between games, sports and the pursuit of man for greatness is known ever since the initiation of human civilization.

Sports, games and physical fitness have been an essential component of our civilization, as is perceptible from the existence of the highly grown system of yoga and a wide area of advanced native games. 

Mechanism Of Sports Law

In the last few years sports have not only remained as an activity of physical evolution of the body or a pursuit of entertainment, but have obtained a professional approach like all the industries.  It is amongst the largest revenue generating industries in the world comprising 3% of the world trade. Sports Laws are not just limited to the aspect of sports only but also involve various other provisions of law in the terms of jurisdictions.

Due to high rates of corruption, spot fixing, drug use, dishonesty, harassment, apprehensions about religions in sports, and tax matters regarding the gains from sports. With high salaries, ticket values, and fame in abundance, professional sports are no longer looked upon as just a game, but as a big business worth a billion.

The concept that public interest is best served by the unrestrained free markets is not applicable here .The sporting world is currently thriving based on this principle. Another main reason for the increasing demand for developing the sporting world is the outcome is unpredictable.

The sporting world has been overflowing with doping controversies in the past few decades. The Olympic Games Bidding Scandal, the IPL scams and allegations of sexual harassment by the Indian Women’s Hockey Team have plagued the nation. Owing to all these matters, there is an outrageous demand for a better understanding of the connection of sports with law. 

Somewhere in the middle of the historical lineage of sports and that of sports in the modern times there is a lack of enthusiasm and encouragement. Little importance is left for sports at ground root level in India with every school priortizing only academics. India is rising as a preferred venue for major sporting events such as Asian Games, Pro Kabaddi, Premier badminton league, Commonwealth Games and World Cups of Hockey and Cricket, which attract a lot of attention from around the globe.

The Indian Sports industry is making a head way by leaps and bounds. Sports have assumed a corporate form with the number of commercial interests involved. Considering India’s pacing interest towards sports which invites unique and mind boggling issues in relation to sponsorship, infrastructure, licensing, media rights and ethical sporting practices. It is an appropriate time to scrutinize the requirement for lucid legal regulations and provisions pertaining exclusively to sports in India.

In India, the Concurrent list of the Seventh Schedule (entry 33) of the Constitution on which both union and state bodies are capacitated are competent to put laws together. Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are two states where there is a functional sports law at present. The Government of India codified the National Sports Policy in 1984 with an intention to make the integration of sports with law as a whole.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports was an initiative by the Indian government to develop the infrastructure and promote capacity establishing for broad-basing sports and for achieving great success at various competitive events at national as well as international platforms. Sports promotion is primarily the responsibility of the various National Sports Federations(NFS)  that are of an autonomous nature.

The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs issues notifications and guidelines from time to time for the purpose of  a regulation of NSFs. Broadcasting Rights: India’s Competition Act 2002, holds void any agreement that is likely to cause an adverse impact on competitiveness. The Competition Law (2002) encourages Competition advocacy, prohibits abuse of dominance and anti competitive agreements. 

Sports law is emerging to be an important part of the sports industry. Few years back choosing sports as the main vocation was immensely criticized but now people are making quality careers in it. A sporting prospect requires a competitive correspondence, and the prevailing rules and regulations formulated to a pure market need to be amended here. It is an area of research that is worthy of definition and in depth study, inquiry and practice.

A well organised exhaustive competition compliance plan of action can be highly beneficial to all enterprises. A fresh outlook, an independent authority and an extensive law is the need of the hour. Sports law is in its developmental stages in India  and has a long way to go. As Justice Cardoze says "The law has its epochs of ebb and flow; the flood tides are on us. The old order may change yielding place to new; but the transition is never an easy process".

Award Winning Article is Written By: Ms.Kajal Dhaval Shah

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