Arjuna Awards Controversy: Delhi High Court Accepts Manoj Kumar's Plea Against Discrimination
The Delhi High Court has set a new date for hearing Manoj Kumar's plea against discrimination. The case will now be heard on Thursday, August 28 and the court has asked the Sports Ministry to furnish records for all athletes recommended for the Arjuna Awards.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the Centre's response on boxer Manoj Kumar's plea challenging the Arjuna Award committee's decision to not consider him for the coveted honour.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru directed the Sports Ministry to produce records on both the composition of the committee and the criteria used by the panel for choosing Arjuna awardees.
The court also asked the government to show the list of sportspersons selected for the award and the markings given to them during the selection procedure.
It directed the government to produce the records by the next date of hearing on August 28.
The court was hearing boxer Manoj Kumar's plea for setting aside the decision taken by the Arjuna Award selection committee not to consider him for the coveted honour.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, however, apprised the court that a similar matter is pending before a division bench of the high court where the composition of the committee related to the Arjuna award is under question.
However, Rahul Mehra, appearing for Kumar, alleged that wrong people are deciding the award.
"Manoj is a gold medallist in CWG 2010 held in Delhi, but the person who got bronze medal during the same event has been selected for the award. How is it possible?" Mehra asked. The petition has also sought a stay on the conferment of the Arjuna Award till the case is decided. The award is scheduled to be conferred on August 29.
The plea also seeks constitution of a new selection panel with more sportspersons in it.
The controversial recommendation of boxer Jai Bhagwan for the prestigious Arjuna Awards had led to Kumar approaching the sports ministry officials, who, he said, had assured him that his name would be added to a list of 15 athletes in a review meeting.
But the selection committee in its review meeting on August 19 had decided not to make any changes in the original list, which led to Kumar moving the high court. Kumar had recently competed in the 64 kg category in the 2014 Glasgow edition of Commonwealth Games but had lost in the quarterfinal round.