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2015 Para Badminton Champion Denied Arjuna Award, Delhi HC Calls Selection Committee’s Decision ‘Unsustainable’

The Delhi High Court has recently called the Arjuna Award selection committee’s decision to not award 2015 Para Badminton Champion, Raj Kumar with the honour, as ‘unsustainable’.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:August 19, 2017, 6:24 PM IST
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2015 Para Badminton Champion Denied Arjuna Award, Delhi HC Calls Selection Committee’s Decision ‘Unsustainable’
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has recently called the Arjuna Award selection committee’s decision to not award 2015 Para Badminton Champion, Raj Kumar with the honour, as ‘unsustainable’ as the committee is “required to select sports-persons and not disciplines.”

Justice Vibhu Bhakru on August 17 stated that Kumar should have been awarded the 2015-16 Arjuna award after Kumar had moved the court seeking to quash the directions of the selection committee and adjudge the awards afresh.

The petitioner has stated that after being nominated for the awards and having followed the objective criteria for evaluating a sportsperson, he was awarded 72.5 out 80, which was the highest for any sportsman in the field of para sports. But the award was instead given to another physically challenged athlete who had scored 50 out 80.

However, the selection committee had submitted that Kumar was not considered since the committee had first selected the sports disciplines and decided that sportsmen who excel in those disciplines will only be awarded.

Remarking on this, the court has observed that selection committee would indeed take into various disciplines, but this could be done only after considering the merits of all sportspersons that were screened by the committee.

Justice Bhakru has said, “the manner in which the selection committee has fettered its own discretion and, therefore, truncated the selection process does not appear to be an opposite approach conforming to the scheme for selecting the awardees.”

Indian Para Badminton Team had won an impressive 11 medals, including four gold, three silver and four bronze, at the 2015 BWF Para Badminton World championship held at Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. The BWF Para-Badminton World Championships is held every two years (on odd numbered years), with the last edition of the Championships taking place in Dortmund, Germany in 2013.

India took gold in Mixed Doubles SL 3-SU 5, with Raj Kumar and Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar getting the better of another Indian duo, Rakesh Pandey and Manasi Girishchandra Joshi – 21-10 21-19 in the final.

The court has noted that there is no point in disturbing the awardee list now considering the time lapse, but it has now directed the selection committee to keep Kumar in mind wile designing the awardee list keeping in mind his 2015-16 credentials.

The committee has now sought time to check if the order can be implemented and the matter has now been listed to August 22.
| Edited by: Pratik Sagar
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