Delhi High Court rebukes Paralympics Council over shooter’s agony

The Delhi High Court’s remarks come while hearing a plea filed by paralympic shooter Naresh Kumar who was denied to file his nomination for the World Shooting Para Sport Championships Cheongju, Korea to be held from 1st to 12th May 2018

other sports Updated: Apr 11, 2018 00:08 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi High Court,Paralympics Council of India,World Shooting Para Sport Championship
Paralympic shooter Naresh Kumaralleged that on February 1 last year, he had written a letter to the President of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) and raised concerns over the corrupt practices in the NPC.(Getty Images)

“A nation as big as India cannot deprive a sportsperson of an opportunity to participate in an event, if he/ she is otherwise eligible, merely because expenses are involved”, the Delhi High Court has said while directing the Paralympics Council of India (PCI) to include a paralympic shooter for the World Shooting Para Sport Championship in South Korea.

In a special hearing conducted at 7.30 PM on Monday, Justice Rajiv Shakdher made the remarks when the PCI informed the court that allowing the petitioner, an Arjuna Award winner, for the Korean games will mean spending more funds with little possibility of him winning the medal because of the change in the qualification score.

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“…..Experience has shown that on a given day even the best performers fail. The selection of sports person is dependent on uniform application of norms by the selectors,” the court said.

The court’s remarks come while hearing a plea filed by paralympic shooter Naresh Kumar who was denied to file his nomination for the World Shooting Para Sport Championships Cheongju, Korea to be held from 1st to 12th May 2018.

According to the plea, filed through advocate Chandan Sharma, Kumar, a Paralympics athlete, a winner of Arjuna Award had represented India in five Paralympic Games----Rio 2016, London 2012, Beijing 2008, Sydney-2000 and Atlanta-1996, in rifle & pistol events.

He alleged that on February 1 last year, he had written a letter to the President of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) and raised concerns over the corrupt practices in the NPC.

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The plea alleged that because of the letter, Kumar was not allowed to seek the permission from the Ministry of Sports and the Sports Authority of India to participate in the Hannover International Shooting Competition 2017.

In addition, a day before the competition, the petitioner, a recipient of score award 1998-99 for sporting excellence, was also forbidden to participate and an email was also written to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) that his score should not be considered as MQS.

“It is pertinent that the petitioner shot a commanding score of 1120, whereas 1110 is the Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) for International Championships as per IPC regulations,” the plea said.

Meanwhile, on November 8, 2017, the NPC changed its selection policy which the petitioners termed as arbitrary and illegal. On February 25 this year, the PCI released a name of 15 participants for the UAE and South Korean Games.

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Aggrieved with the various anomalies in the work and conduct of PCI and unfair selection of the shooting team for the Al Ain 2018 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup to be held UAE and Cheongju 2018 World Shooting Para Sport Championships Cheongju, the petitioner came to the court.

The court compared the petitioner’s score with those participants sent to UAE for the 2018 AI Ain World Shooting Para Sport World Cup to come to a conclusion whether he could be sent to South Korea.

It found that Kumar had scored better than the other participants in some events if not all.

“In my opinion, the PCI has done a U-turn by insisting on ascertaining the petitioner’s eligibility for the Korean Championship by comparing the score obtained by him in the 2017 Hannover (Germany) Championship and 2017 Bangkok (World Cup) Championship with the MQS fixed by the IPC,” the court said.

It also said that two different yardsticks cannot be put in place for ascertaining suitability of sportsperson. It directed the PCI to comply with the directions and file the nominations for the petitioners as the last date for submitting the entries is April 10.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 23:02 IST