Supreme Court asks Paralympics panel to include shooter Naresh Kumar in list

Naresh Kumar Sharma.   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) to include shooter Naresh Kumar in the list of those competing in the Paralympics Games in Tokyo scheduled to begin from August 24.

A three-judge Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar passed the order after Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana referred Mr. Kumar’s case for urgent hearing and relief on Monday.

The court asked the PCI to include Mr. Kumar as an additional athlete in the list and file a compliance report on Wednesday.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, for Mr. Kumar, made an urgent mention before the CJI Bench earlier in the day. He said August 2 was the last date of submission of the list of Indian athletes competing in the Paralympics. The PCI would hand over the list to the International Paralympics Committee (IPC). He urged the court to list his case in the course of the day.

A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court prima facie favoured his petition in a hearing on July 30, but did not realise the urgency of the case while posting it for hearing next on August 6, days after the expiry of the deadline for submission of the athletes’ list on August 2, he noted.

“If the matter is heard on August 6, it would render the matter infructuous, owing to the fact that as per the policy of the IPC, the deadline to send the name of final selected candidates for participation in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics is August 2,” he argued.

‘Qualified to compete’

No harm would be done to anyone for including Mr. Kumar, who is qualified to compete, in the list. Mr. Kumar had scored the necessary minimum qualifying scores (MQS) in international and domestic R7 Meter shooting events. Any country could send up to three athletes for an event at the Paralympics, he contended.

The CJI Bench, which includes Justice Surya Kant, had collected the case records from Mr. Singh and stated that it would evaluate the contents and list it before an appropriate Bench if necessary.

“Petitioner is the only athlete who had two MQS in domestic events as well as international events. The petitioner has previously called out the illegal activities of the PCI. The executive body of the PCI specifically held a grudge against the petitioner,” a submission note from Mr. Singh, containing the gist of the petition filed by him for Mr. Kumar, has alleged.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 8:23:25 PM |

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