IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT JODHPUR.
O R D E R
Madan Singh & Ors. v. Rajasthan State Sports Council and others
(1)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4650/2008 Bhagwan Bhadu & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (2)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4686/2008 Gopal Singh Rajpurohit v.Rajasthan State Sports Council and others
(3)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.5126/2008 Ganpati Chandra Gehlot v.Rajasthan State Sports Council and others
(4)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.5127/2008 Ramniwas Sengwa & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (5)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4619/2008 Om Prakash v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (6)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4916/2008 Amra Ram v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (7)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4924/2008 Gulab Chand Ojha v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (8)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4925/2008 Sima Joshi v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (9)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4934/2008 Surendra Singh Shoora v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (10)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4935/2008 Jamna Lal Teli & Ors. v. Rajasthan State Sports Council and others
(11)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4938/2008 2
Amit Kumar Singh v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (12)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4966/2008 Raghveer Singh Saharan v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (13)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4967/2008 Jai Prakash Sharma v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (14)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4968/2008 Dara Singh Saharan v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (15)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4969/2008 Dinesh Kumar v. Secretary, Rajasthan State Sports Council and another
(16)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4990/2008 Ranjeet Singh v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (17)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4991/2008 Arvind Kumar & Ors. v. Rajasthan State Sports Council and others
(18)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.5037/2008 Kumud Shah v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (19)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.5038/2008 Pukh Raj & Ors. v.Rajasthan State Sports Council and another
(20)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.DR(J)4350/2008 Kalu Singh Rao v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (21)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4595/2008 Giriraj Yadav v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (22)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4596/2008 Pappu Ram v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (23)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4597/2008 Megha Ram v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (24)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4598/2008 3
Mohan Lal Koli v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (25)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4599/2008 Satya Narayan Koli v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (26)S.B.CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4600/2008 Date of Order :: 1st August, 2008 P R E S E N T
HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE GOVIND MATHUR
Dr. P.S.Bhati ]
Mr. C.S.Kotwani ]
Mr. Arjun Purohit ]
Mr. Y.P.Khileree ]
Mr. Bharat Devasi ]
Mr. Narendra Gehlot] for the petitioners. Mr. T.R.Singh ]
Ms. Neelam Goyal ]
Mr. Gopal Acharya ]
Mr. Sanjay Nahar ]
Ms. Suman Porwal ]
Mr. Harish Purohit ]
Mr. N.M.Lodha, Additional Advocate General. *****
BY THE COURT :
The Rajasthan State Sports Council by an advertisement dated 21.5.2008 notified for initiation of recruitment process for appointment on contract basis against 1500 vacancies of part-time Coaches/ Conveners for rural areas in various districts of the State of Rajasthan. The criteria for selection, beside the educational qualification is the achievements of aspirants in classified rural sports. As per the guidelines prescribed by the Council, classified rural 4
games are Athletics, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Volleyball, Hockey, Archery, Tug of War, Wrestling and Weightlifting and also the two popular games of the area determined by the Collector of the district concerned. The game of Basketball is also included in the list of classified sports being declared as "State Sport" of the State. As per the scheduled appended to the guidelines for determining comparative merit of the candidates, the marks for participation in institutional sports meets shall be half to the marks for participation in the sports meets organised by the Sports Federation/Association.
The grievance of the petitioners who are trained in physical education is that the classification of the sports as rural games is arbitrary and irrational, the inclusion of certain games in the category of rural games as well as exclusion of certain games from the classified rural games is irrational, and the grant of less marks for participation in institutional sports meets is discriminatory.
As per the respondents, the classification of the rural sports is made by the Sports Authority of India Ltd. and by treating the same as reasonable in the State of Rajasthan, the Sports Council while making engagement of Coaches/Conveners on fixed honorarium in the villages having population of more 5
than 4000-7000 people, accepted the classification. It is asserted that the classification of the sports is based on the recommendations of the experts with a view to systematise rural sports organisation. The less marks for participation in the institutional sports meets is also justified by the respondents being conducted at a lower spectra vis-a-vis the sports meets and tournaments conducted by the Sports Federations/Associations.
The amplitude of the issue involved in these petitions for writ is quite narrow , however, with few others an important objection is taken by the respondents about amenability of the Rajasthan State Sports Council under Article 226 of the Constitution of India alleging it not to be an instrumentality, agency or authority of the State for the Purpose of Part-III of the Constitution of India. To meet the preliminary objection aforesaid, it is stated by counsel for the petitioners that the aims, objects and functions of the Rajasthan State Sports Council i.e. a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1958 are of public nature, the society is absolutely funded by the Government of Rajasthan having deep and pervasive administrative control of the State and as such is nothing but an instrumentality of the State.
Hon'ble Supreme Court in Pradeep Kumar Biswas v. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology and others, reported in (2002)5 SCC 111, formulated the tests to determine a body as State within the Article 12 of the Constitution of India in following terms:- "40.The picture that ultimately emerges is that the tests formulated in Ajay Hasia are not a rigid set of principles so that if a body falls within any one of them it must, ex hypothesi, be considered to be a State within the meaning of Article 12. The
question in each case would be - whether in the light of the cumulative facts as
established, the body is financially, functionally and administratively dominated by or under the control of the Government. Such control must be particular to the body in question and must be pervasive. If this is found then the body is a State within Article 12. On the other hand, when the control is merely regulatory whether under statute or otherwise, it would not serve to make the body a State."
While examining the status of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Hon'ble Supreme Court in Zee Telefilms Ltd. & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors., reported in (2005)4 SCC 649, held that "there seems to be no need to further expand the scope of "other authorities" in Article 12 by judicial interpretation at least for the time being. It should also be borne in mind that as noticed above, in a democracy there is 7
a dividing line between a State enterprise and a non- State enterprise, which is distinct and the judiciary should not be an instrument to erase the said dividing line unless, of course, the circumstances of the day require it to do so."
Hon'ble Supreme Court while declining the Board to be State for the purpose of Article 12, found that the Board is not created by statute, no part of the share-capital of the Board is held by the Government, no financial assistance is given by the Government to meet the whole or entire expenditure of the Board, the Board though enjoy a monopoly status in the field of cricket but such status is not State- conferred or State-protected, there is no existence of a deep and pervasive State control. The control if any is only regulatory in nature as applicable to other similar bodies, and the Board is not created by transfer of a government-owned corporation. It is an autonomous body.
With the tests given above the status of the respondent Council is to be considered. The Council is a society with following aims and objects :- "Aims and Objects :- The aims and objects of the Rajasthan State Sports Council are and shall be :-
i)to plan and promote the all round development of games, sports, physical culture and physical education;
ii)to organise training, coaching and education in sports, games and physical culture, and to establish maintain facilities for the same;
iii)to maintain libraries, reading rooms and museums relating to games, sports, physical culture and physical education for the use of members, recognised associations and also the general public;
iv)to advise the State Government in all matters concerning sports and games including any financial and other assistance to sports organisations;
v)to advise the State Sports Organisations and to act as the coordinating agency
vi)to issue directions on matters of general policy to associations and other bodies receiving grants from the Council;
vii)to solicit, obtain or accept subscriptions, donations and grant from the State Govt., any person, firm, corporation or institution;
viii)to conserve or protect accounts, loss or damages to its buildings, grounds and stocks and other assets and to regulate their use;
ix)to do all acts and things necessary for or conducting to the promotion of games and sports in this state and for this purpose, to start, establish, conduct, maintain and manage reading rooms, libraries, gymnasiums, stadia and the like, for the use of members recognised associations and the general public;
x)to start and conduct magazines, periodicals and news papers and issue pamphlets to carry on propaganda and further 9
the aims and objects of the Council by means of lectures and various other means;
xi)to give scholarships, prizes and monetary assistance to outstanding athletes and sportsmen.
A)to take such steps by personal or written appeals, exhibitions, public meetings, entertainment's or otherwise as may from time to time be deemed expedient for the purpose of procuring contributions to the funds of the Council, in shape of donations, legacies, annual payments or otherwise. B)To accept and receive in any manner
whatever any cash or immovable or movable property either conditionally or subject to any special trusts created by any particular donor in furtherance of nay one or more of the objects of the Council.
Xii) to do all other acts and things,
whether incidental to the powers aforesaid, or not, as is, or may be, required in
furtherance of the objectives of the Council."
A bare reading of the aims and objects clearly reflects the public nature that is to be discharged by the Sports Council. As per clause 3(A) of the memorandum aforesaid the management of the affairs of the Rajasthan State Sports Council is entrusted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Council to a standing Committee, constituted by the Government from time to time. As per the Article of the Rajasthan State Sports Council the Governor of the State is its Patron and the Chief Minister of the Rajasthan is its Senior Vice-Patron and all members of 10
the governing council are nominated by the Government of Rajasthan. No amendment in the Constitution of the Sports Council can be made without previous approval of the State Government.
The Rajasthan State Legislature enacted an act in the name of the Rajasthan Sports (Registration, Recognition and Regulation of Associations) Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act of 2005") to provide for registration, recognition and regulation of the sports associations to facilitate and regulate the activities of the affairs of the sports association in the State of Rajasthan and also to provide for recognition and regularisation of the right to represent the State of Rajasthan and various revenue districts in the State for sports activities. As per Section 2(q) of the Act of 2005 the Rajasthan State Sports Council means the Council registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1958 (Act No.28 of 1958) bearing Registration No.93/Jaipur/69-70, i.e. the respondent Council. No certificate of affiliation can be issued to any district level sports association or State level sports association by anybody except the Rajasthan State Sports Council. Every district level sports association i.e. the basic sports unit is required to be duly affiliated with the district sports council affiliated with the Rajasthan State Sports Council, as 11
such every district sports council in the State of Rajasthan is under the control of the Rajasthan State Sports Council. The affiliation to the Rajasthan Olympic Association and District Olympic Association is also required to be given by the Rajasthan State Sports Council. The Rajasthan Olympic Association or any of its affiliated bodies may take the task relating to sports only on entrustment by the Government of Rajasthan or the Rajasthan State Sports Council. Elections of the executive body of every state level of sports association is required to be conducted in presence of the observer of the Rajasthan State Sports Council and the election officer is required to remit a copy of the certificate of election to the Rajasthan State Sports Council. By Section 37 of the Act of 2005 an insertion is also made in the Rajasthan Societies Registration Act, 1958 in following terms:-
"18-A.Power of Registrar to refuse or to cancel the registration of certain Societies.--
(1)The registrar shall refuse to register-- (a)a Society under Sec.3, or
(b)the change of name made under Sec.12-A, if the main activities of the Society
include Sports and the expression Rajasthan or the name of any District as a part of the proposed name of the Society.
(2)If the name of a Society registered before the commencement of the Rajasthan Sports Associations (Registration, Recognition and Regulation) Act, 2005 (Act No.4 of 2005) contains as part of its name the expression "Rajasthan" or the name of any District of the State or, such Society shall amend its name to remove Rajasthan or, as the case may be, the name of the district from the registered name of the Society within thirty days from such commencement. (3)If any Society fails to comply with the provisions of sub-sec.(2), the Registrar shall, after giving an opportunity of hearing to such Society, cancel the registration of such Society.
(4)Cancellation of registration under sub- sec.(3) shall operate as if the members of such Society have resolved to dissolve the Society and the provisions of this Act shall apply accordingly."
By the force of the provision aforesaid the Rajasthan State Sports Council is having monopoly with regard to the sports activities in the State of Rajasthan and that is having State protection under a statute.
It is not in dispute that the Rajasthan State Sports Council is absolutely funded by the Government of Rajasthan.
From narration of the facts and legal status of the Rajasthan State Sports Council, it is clear that though it is not created by a statute but is certainly created under a statute. It is 100% financed by the Government of Rajasthan and it enjoy a monopoly status by the force of statute i.e. the act of 2005. As per the provisions of the memorandum of the Council, Article of the Council and the provisions of the Act of 2005, there is a deep and pervasive State Administrative Control over the Sports Council. Thus, I do not find any dividing line between the Sports Council and the State on basis of that it may not be called as a State enterprise. As a matter of fact the Rajasthan State Sports Council is a State enterprise to organise the sports and games activities in the State of Rajasthan, as such it is amenable to writ jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
The counsel for the respondents have raised certain other quite serious preliminary objections regarding maintainability of these petitions but I do not consider it appropriate to deal with all such objections being not satisfied with merits of the cases as forwarded by the petitioners. The first contention of the petitioners is that the classification of the sports and games as rural and urban sports is absolutely irrational. It is 14
asserted by counsel for the petitioners that the sports and games events are required to be considered as one unit and no classification could have been made as the sports of the urban area and the sports of the rural area.
I do not find any substance in the argument advanced. The Sports Authority of India Ltd. after considering all social circumstances prevailing in the country classified certain games popular in rural areas and, therefore, undertook various projects to develop those games in rural areas. Various tournaments and sports meets for rural areas are also organised for promotion of sports activities and for talent hunt.
It is a reality that certain games are popular and easily accessible in rural areas whereas those are not so popular in urban areas. Similarly there are number of games which are popular in urban areas but not in rural belts. The games like wrestling, weightlifting, volleyball, archery, tug of war and different athletic events are quite popular in rural areas but are not in much prevalence in urban areas. Similarly, snooker, billiards, golf, tennis, badminton are mainly urbanite games and the rural area is having no infrastructure as well as no popularity for these games. The Government of India and different State Governments by their agencies have undertaken 15
various projects to develop the games popular in rural areas by classifying them as rural games. To achieve the object above, the Sports Council of Rajasthan has also undertaken a huge project and for that purpose, it is making recruitment of Coaches/Conveners at village level. As such, there is no wrong in classification of the sports on basis of their popularity and vogue in rural areas.
So far as placement of different games in rural category is concerned, i.e. on basis of the recommendations of the experts and as such it is not required to be interfered by this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, if not shockingly irrational. Exercise of jurisdiction by the High Court is permissible in a case where action of the State is found to be unfair, unreasonable or arbitrary. In the instant cases learned counsel for the petitioners utterly failed to point out inclusion of any game as shockingly unjust under the rural games category and also failed to point out exclusion of any game prevalent in rural areas of the Rajasthan in classified rural sports. It is pertinent to note here that a broad discretion is also given to the Collectors of the district concerned to include two popular games of the district concerned under the category of rural games and that is quite reasonable in view of the fact that the Collector beside the six 16
notified games may include two popular games of the district concerned, if so required in the category of rural sports.
The contention raised by counsel for the petitioners regarding discrimination in the grant of marks on basis of organisers of the tournaments or sports meets is also of no consequence. The institutional games are conducted by the educational institutions and they are confined to the educational institutions only. On the other hand, the tournaments conducted and organised by the Sports Federations/ Associations are having quite large and broad arena. These tournaments include various district level, State level, National level and International level tournaments and, therefore, participation in such tournaments is certainly a better achievement vis-a- vis the participation in institutional sports meets/tournaments.
For the reasons stated above, I do not find any merit in these petitions for writ. Accordingly, the same are dismissed.
( GOVIND MATHUR ),J.