Olympian boxer Vijender Singh on Thursday moved the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking directions to the Haryana government to grant him extraordinary leave and permission to go to England for competing in the professional boxing fights.
Vijender, in his petition, has also sought directions to the government to implement the sports policy, which envisaged that employees recruited under the sports quota should use their services primarily for the promotion of sports.
Vijender, in his petition, has denied that he had entered into an agreement with Queensberry Promotions Limited saying the suo motu petition initiated by the high court was result of the “unsubstantiated” news reports in the media.
The boxer told the court that Queensberry Promotions Limited offered him a contract to play as a professional boxer and the permission was sought on July 3 from the state DGP. When no action was taken on the application, he again applied for grant of one-year extraordinary leave to go to England, he added.
The petitioner has argued that there were over a dozen other such players who while serving with the government entered professional leagues from the state. Hence, he could not be discriminated against.
Singh has argued that his is a story of most small-town sportspersons, who were not well-off and must scrape together enough money to continue their sport. “It is a well-known fact that in the initial stage, there are no sponsorships and recognition is extremely elusive.
The sports infrastructure is abysmal and sportspersons in fact achieve much despite the poor infrastructure and not because of it,” the Haryana boxer has submitted while giving details of his sports achievements.
The high court bench of justice Mahesh Grover, while hearing the petition on Thursday, ordered that the case be listed with the suo motu proceedings initiated by the court against Vijender’s move to turn professional. That case is listed for hearing on August 20.
It was on July 7 that high court judge justice Rajesh Bindal had ordered suo motu proceedings on the media reports observing that Vijender’s move showed a disturbing trend where taxpayers’ money had been “misutilised” for certain sportspersons to get training and international recognition.