Delhi High Court asks Paralympics Committee to respond to shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma’s plea

The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) to respond to an appeal by five-time Paralympian shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma challenging a July 27 High Court order that declined to interfere with his non-selection for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh also issued notice to the Centre on the plea and posted it for hearing on August 6.

Advocate Varun Singh, representing Mr. Sharma, sought an early date for the hearing as the Tokyo Paralympics will commence on August 24, and the deadline for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 (postponed because of the pandemic) Organising Committee to receive sports entry forms submitted by National Paralympic Committee.

The High Court, however, refused the plea on the ground that Mr. Sharma should have approach the court “a little earlier and not at the last moment”.

Mr. Sharma, an Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi State Sports Awardee, said the High Court’s July 27 order failed to consider the facts in proper perspective when it refused to grant any relief to him, in spite of noting that the PCI had acted in violation of its own criteria in the selection of the Paralympic shooting team.

The appeal stated that the Tokyo Paralympics are set to commence from August 24 and therefore, a direction can still be passed to the PCI to send Mr. Sharma’s name for his participation in the R7 shooting event.

On July 27, the High Court had said that PCI’s conduct in relation to the selection of another player, Deepak, over Mr. Sharma was “unbecoming of a public sporting body”, which has to maintain a fair, transparent and inclusionary approach.

While deciding on Mr. Sharma’s petition against his non-selection, the High Court had observed that it found prima facie merit in his averment that the PCI selection committee did adopt different standards vis-à-vis Mr. Deepak and other para shooters.

The High Court had, however, refused to interfere with the selection of the other player over Mr. Sharma at this belated stage.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:12:45 PM |

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