New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed a 16-year-old boy's plea seeking direction to participate in the junior world boxing championship to be held in Russia next month, saying the sports bodies should ensure that the "best talent" is selected for participating in world events.
Justice V P Vaish directed the authorities and the International Boxing Association to conduct a meeting urgently within three days to review the selection and participation of Harshpreet Sehrawat.
"It is made clear that the result of the meeting will be communicated to the boy's guardians or his counsel as soon as the same is declared. Sports Authority of India (SAI) is directed to make necessary arrangements for the boy in advance, so that there are no delays or (glitches) experienced on account of all the necessary arrangements for participation of the minor in the international tournament, if he succeeds," the bench said.
It further said the adhoc committee of the AIBA should pass a detailed "reasoned order specifying the reasons for such selection or rejection of the minor and not pass the order in mechanical manner".
The court had directed the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to take instruction on Sehrawat's plea claiming that he was the "best boxer in his weight category of 80+."
The court was hearing a plea filed by Sehrawat's guardian who claimed that the boy was a national champion fighting much older boxers in his weight category, and despite his weight and credentials, he had not been selected by the Selection Committee for the World Junior Championship to be held at St Petersburg, Russia from September 2-13, 2015.
Advocate D R Nigam, appearing for Sehrawat, told the court that SAI and the Sports Ministry "being aware of the above facts, is keeping quiet and is not intervening".
The minor's counsel had said that the boy was 13 years of age in 2012 when he won gold medal fighting in under-17 age category, won National Gold at the age of 14 in the same category in 2013 and a silver in the National Games when he was 15 fighting in under-19 years category, "thus clearly establishing his talent, merit and continuous and consistent performance."
The judge observed that he failed to understand why minors such as the petitioner deserve to suffer even after performing well in trials organised by the sports authorities.
"While making necessary selections for such tournaments of international magnitude, the sports bodies and the ministry are to ensure that the best talent is selected on perusal of the documents brought on record, it is clear that the boy is a deserving candidate to be selected for the said international tournament," the court observed.