Games Sports

HC asks PCI to take instructions on 5-time Paralympian shooter Naresh Sharma’s plea over non-selection

The Delhi High Court Thursday asked the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) to take instructions on a plea by five-time Paralympian shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma over not being selected for the upcoming Tokyo games.

Justice Rekha Palli granted time to PCI’s counsel to take instructions on the issue and listed the plea for further hearing on Jul 27.

The court also allowed an oral prayer by Sharma’s counsel to amend the memo of parties and implead one Deepak, who has been selected by PCI, to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in place of Sharma.

Sharma, who is an Arjuna Awardee and Rajiv Gandhi State Sports Awardee, has alleged that the selection panel, PCI, deliberately and arbitrarily ignored his name for the Paralympics in spite of him fulfilling all the eligibility criteria including achieving the minimum qualifying score.

The plea has sought direction from the PCI to include Sharma’s name in the list of selected shooters for the R7 event.

Advocate Jatan Singh, representing Sharma, argued that the selection process was not fair and transparent and that the committee was biased towards the petitioner.

During the hearing, advocate Naveen Kumar Choudhary, representing PCI, said Sharma has not won even a single medal till now and he keeps on participating only and creates trouble.

The petition, filed through advocates Sushant Singh and Amit Kumar Sharma, said the selection committee of PCI arbitrarily and without application of mind selected Deepak to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in R7 event in place of competent and deserving Sharma.

The plea the selection process was in violation of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011 which mandates judicious and meritorious selection of players to represent India at major international events.

If the court refuses to intervene with the “arbitrary, discriminatory and capricious selection”, Sharma’s legitimate opportunity to participate in Tokyo Paralympics and consequently, bring laurels to the country will be lost, it said.

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