In a relief to the Centre and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the Supreme Court on Thursday said the Centre need not seek the consent of Delhi High Court before granting recognition to various sports federations under the National Sports Code.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K.M. Joseph was hearing the Sports Ministry’s appeal challenging the High Court order, disallowing the authorities concerned from taking a decision on granting recognition to national federations without its consent.

The Centre had argued that there are several federations, and if it were to seek consent from the High Court before granting recognition to any of them, then under these circumstances, the entire process would eventually come to a standstill.

The High Court had passed the order in 2010 on a PIL filed by advocate Rahul Mehra that the National Sports Federations (NSFs) should perform their duties well by observing the National Sports Code. The plea also sought directions to the Sports Ministry and the IOA to ensure that.

The Centre also argued that it is not for the High Court to enter into a field, which solely is the domain of the executive.

on Thursday, the apex court observed that this PIL has been pending since 2010, and if anyone is aggrieved, with the decision of non-granting of recognition, then they can certainly move the court. It also asked the High Court to decide the plea expeditiously.

The IOA and the Sports Ministry had moved the top court challenging the Delhi High Court order.

In August, the Delhi High Court had declined to entertain a plea by the ministry to modify its order. It had also asked for a National Sports Code compliance report from the ministry. As per this direction, the ministry sent a questionnaire to NSFs, where it sought details on tenure and age of the office-bearers.