The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted a day's time to the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), the apex body for promotion and development of Para Sports in India, to seek instructions on a plea filed by shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma over his non-selection for the upcoming Tokyo games 2020.
Sharma is a five-time Paralympian and an Arjuna Awardee.
Justice Rekha Palli, after hearing the Advocate Jatan Singh for the Petitioner, asked PCI's counsel Advocate Naveen Kumar Chaudhary to seek instructions in the matter and come up with a stand by tomorrow.
The Petitioner has contended that the Selection Committee of PCI wrongly applied the eligibility criteria specified under the National Sports Development Code of India 2011, while shortlisting the candidates. He has complained that the Committee wrongly selected one Deepak to participate in Tokyo Paralympic in R7 event, in his place.
It is his case that to be eligible for participating at 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, a para shooter must have participated in at least two international competitions approved by the WSPS (World Shooting Para Sports).
Singh pointed out that the said Deepak has merely participated in one such event and the Committee has wrongly considered Serbia Grand Prix for calculating his marks, even thought the said event is not a part of the recognized WSPS competition in terms of Rule 1.2 and 2.9.
The Petitioner further submitted that the Respondents have deliberately set down the criteria contrary to this guideline, prescribing that participation in one international event will be sufficient to make a person eligible.
Chaudhary on the other hand argued that Sharma has not won even a single medal and he keeps his participation only creates trouble.
At the outset, Justice Palli made it clear that the scope of Court's interference in matters like the instant one is limited as it is the domain of experts.
However, Singh argued that the Court may grant indulgence where the discretion exercised by the Committee is arbitrary and perverse. "They consciously and arbitrarily denied the petitioner his legitimate opportunity to participate in the R7 event at Tokyo Paralympic…There was a premeditated plan on the part of the Selection Committee to exclude the name of the petitioner," the plea stated.
The Court has thus fixed the case for hearing tomorrow. It has also allowed an oral prayer to implead athlete Deepak as a Respondent-party.
The event is set to commence from August 25.