New Delhi, Jan 24 (IBNS) Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Tuesday said Suresh Kalmadi, who last week got bail in the Commonwealth Games corruption case after spending nearly nine months in jail, should step down from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as its "president".
"Anyone facing charges as serious as that of corruption should not head the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). So, any such person as Suresh Kalmadi, I think in best interest of Indian Sports, should resign from the Presidentship," he told CNN IBN news channel.
Maken made the comment when asked if the order of Kalmadi´s suspension by Justice U C Banerjee, who claims himself to be the chairman of the Ethics Commission of the IOA, was valid.
Justice Banerjee is the Chairman of the disbanded Ethics Commission of IOA.
Maken alleged that the IOA acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who he claimed is working for Kalmadi when he calls the Justice Banerjee´s suspension of Kalmadi as invalid, should also step down.
Maken said in the best spirit of sports Kalmadi, who had to go to jail for alleged irregularities and financial mismanagement while organizing the Commonwealth Games of 2010, should not continue as IOA president.
He said as far as his ministry is concerned, it had requested Kalmadi to step down when he was arrested.
He said Vijay Kumar Malhotra also would have been removed if the Sports Bill had been passed by now.
Before being disbanded last year, the Ethics Commission of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had sent a showcause notice to its jailed president Suresh Kalmadi and joint secretary Lalit Bhanot as to why their membership won´t be terminated.
The showcause notices were sent out Dec 6, six days before being disbanded by a General Body resolution. The commission was again set up two weeks later.
A similar letter was also shot to V.K.Verma, who was the director general of Commonwealth Games, asking why his membership from a National Sports Federation should not be cancelled. Verma was the president of Badminton Association of India (BAI) when he was arrested last year.
Kalmadi, former chairman of the Commonwealth Games organising committee, and Verma were released on bail Thursday (Jan 19) after nine months in jail in the corruption cases related with the Commonwealth Games. Bhanot, who was a former secretary-general of the organising committee, was released Saturday.
Earlier reports suggested that Kalmadi has decided to step aside for the time being but has not officially resigned and amid speculation on his future, a showcause notice that was sent to him while he was still in jail has come to light.