The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the government’s decision withdrawing Arjuna award from triple jump athlete Renjith Maheshwary, hours before the presentation ceremony last year.
“This is not a subject matter of judicial review. You cannot bring such matter for judicial review. It is not justifiable,” a bench headed by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha said.
The bench also questioned Kerala-based organisation Navalokam Samskarika Kendram, Kottayam, which had filed the petition saying “is it a fundamental right to get Arjuna award?”
“What is your fundamental right which has been violated?” the bench asked when senior advocate Gopal Subramanium was arguing for the organisation.
“There are much more deserving persons who do not get and could not make it to Arjuna award and there are also some who get, though not deserving,” the bench said while further elaborating that “even if you have not got Arjuna award, a person can be a good sportsperson”.
The bench, also comprising Justices M.B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph, declined to go into the issue that “the present refusal (in 2013) should not come on his way (this year)”.
The court was told that Maheshwary has again been recommended by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the coveted honour this year.
In the petition, the Kottayam-based organisation said Maheshwary’s name was in the award list released on August 14, 2013. On August 29, he came to Delhi from Chennai and stayed at Hotel Ashoka, along with other award winners, and participated in a rehearsal at Rashtrapati Bhavan for the function.
The next morning, he was told to stay away from the ceremony as the award had been withdrawn.