Courts Update International Committee rejects name, Supreme Court allows Arjuna Awardee...

International Committee rejects name, Supreme Court allows Arjuna Awardee Paralympian Naresh Kumar Sharma to approach Delhi HC

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New Delhi Aug 3(ILNS): The Supreme Court today allowed the Paralympian Naresh Kumar Sharm to approach the Delhi High Court after the Paralympic selection committee informed that Tokyo has rejected the name.

A divisional bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna disposed of the petition while directing the HC to decide the petition as expeditiously as possible.

Earlier yesterday, The bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murarivide had directed the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) to recommend the name of Sharma as an additional participant/additional entry. 

The matter was listed for compliance today before the bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna which disposed of the petition granting liberty to the petitioner to approach the High Court. The matter is urged to be taken expeditiously so that the matter does not become infructuous.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh appearing for Sharma submitted before the Court, “Milords they are saying that Tokyo has rejected the name, I have a suggestion that the matter may be listed before the single bench as she has already heard the matter.”

This comes in the backdrop of the International Paralympic Committee stated that an additional slot cannot be provided as the slots are awarded to National Paralympic Committee (NPC) and not to an individual athlete. Ten slots have been granted to India and no additional slot can be granted. Therefore, the question of whether the petitioner would be granted a slot by dislodging another should be seen by the Hon’ble High Court.

Sharma, being desirous of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics had approached the Delhi HC with the grievance that the Selection Committee of PCI had not applied the eligibility criteria correctly. The petitioner had raised the contention that he was duly qualified and one of the candidates was wrongly considered by taking into account the Serbian Grand Prix that was not recognized. Further, he was discriminated against on account of his raising voices against irregularities, corruption, malpractice, and misappropriation of funds of PCI. It was contended on behalf of PCI that it has the interests of the nation in mind.

Earlier, the High Court had refused to interfere with the selection at a belated stage when the shooting team had already been placed in a bubble for the purpose of the Paralympics given the current state of the pandemic. It was observed that PCI had acted in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner and that the conduct was unbecoming of a public sporting body. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was directed to examine the issue./ILNS/GM/SV/SNG

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