The Indian Supreme Court has ordered an investigation into the alleged abuse of privacy rights by the country’s National Rowing Federation. The allegations, which were first reported by India Today in January this year, allege that over half a million dollars were spent on surveillance equipment and spyware software to monitor some 9000 people including athletes, coaches and referees affiliated with different sports federations across the country. The report also claimed that footage from the cameras was streamed directly to the offices of the Indian National Rowing Federation.
India Today which first broke the story had reported that employees of Quantified IT had accessed passwords and deleted CCTV footage in response to behest by senior officials at Naffe. The company is said to have worked with an Indian company called Sky Ray to install the surveillance equipment across all major state-level rowing centres in the country.
The Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the story following which it has now ordered a CBI inquiry into the incident . Prima facie it’s a very serious matter We are concerned about misuse of power. We will give them (CBI) all support, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu said.
While admitting that India had tragically lost its standing in world sports following a series of doping related controversies India’s Olympic chief Randhir Singh said that it was shocking to note that intelligence agencies hadn’t reported any detail to the sports ministry about the case.
The matter came to light after whistleblowers within Naffe submitted a complaint against Mr Kushal Das, Secretary General of Naffe, along with other senior officials accusing them of misappropriation of funds and corruption in the federation. Following which both the employees were sacked by the national body.
Of course this issue is not about spying on people, this is about stealing money and using it for personal gains. How much so ever you try to deny the charges against yourself, they are there in public domain said Suresh Kalmadi who has been at the helm of affairs in Indian rowing since 1989.
The CBI is expected to complete its investigation within a month and submit a report to the Supreme Court.
How does one even start this. I guess we should begin with the Indian sports authorities and their amazing track record (if any), and then address other factors like how it is no wonder that the country has been kicked out of almost every international sporting circuit for use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), age fraud , spot fixing, misappropriation of funds etc. It is also no surprise that there are many officials in Indian sports who will resort to illegal means to become influential in the cutting edge world of sporting administration in this country.