10 Nov 2021 1:39 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea filed by boxer Arundhati Choudhary over her non selection in the upcoming Women's World Boxing Championship scheduled to take place in Istanbul from December 4 to 18. Justice Rekha Palli sought response of the Boxer Federation of India (BFI) and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the plea which had alleged that Lovlina Borgohain, an...
The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea filed by boxer Arundhati Choudhary over her non selection in the upcoming Women's World Boxing Championship scheduled to take place in Istanbul from December 4 to 18.
Justice Rekha Palli sought response of the Boxer Federation of India (BFI) and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the plea which had alleged that Lovlina Borgohain, an Olympic bronze winner, was selected for the championship instead.
Choudhary, who claimed to be an International boxing champion, had approached the Court seeking a direction on the Respondents to consider her candidature in the 70 Kg category for the event.
Choudhary's counsel submitted that in the light of her excellent record of holding a gold medal in the recent women championship in Hisar, she ought to have been preferred over any other player.
On the other hand, Advocate Hrishikesh Baruah appearing for BFI submitted that Choudhary was in fact registered as a reserved boxer for the Championship.
He also submitted that in case Choudhary was aggrieved by the selection of Lovlina, she ought to have impleaded her as a party respondent.
Finding merit in the aforesaid submission and taking on record the same, the Court was of the view that it was not inclined to pass any interim orders.
The Court granted one week to the respondents for filing affidavit in the matter whereas three days were given for filing rejoinder to the same.
During the course of hearing, the Court expressed its dissatisfaction over the functioning of various sports federations and the regular cases by way of which various players had approached the Court recently, highlighting their grievances.
"The more I hear these matters, I am getting the feeling that till the time player is not going to bow down to them, they will not hear the player. Everyday I'm seeing this," Justice Palli told Advocate Apoorv Kurup appearing for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Asking the Ministry to take some action in the matter, the Court said that it appeared that most of the sports federation were treating themselves as "private clubs" which was an unfortunate situation.
"You are supposed to be promoting sports. The Ministry has to wake up," she added.
While Kurup said that the present matter was an issue entirely between the Federation and the player, Justice Palli said:
"This stand in itself shows how careless this is coming. You have to show some proactiveness. We did so well this Olympics. We can do much better. I do not want a sportsperson to feel that I'm better but I'm not selected."
The matter will now be considered on November 22.
In a public statement issued by the BFI today, it has been stated thus:
"Since only one entry in each weight category could be sent for the World championships BFI has taken a conscious decision in its EC meeting and thereafter in its Selection Committee meeting to give one time exception for Ms. Lovlina selected for world championships directly in her weight Category. This decision was taken in the light of the fact that there was very little gap between the olympics and elite Women's championships that was held at hisar. Ms. Lovlina needed time to recuperate as well after Tokyo olympics. She was also world no. 3 in this weight category. BFI represented by Adv Hrishikesh Baruah and Parth Goswami informed the Honb'le court that the said decision of BFI was communicated to all state associations via email way back on 04.10.21, much before the championship at Hisar started. BFI has nothing at all against the petitioner and has in fact Included her name as the reserve player for world Championships. The decision regarding inclusion of Ms. Lovlina is in the national interest considering her outstanding bronze Medal winning performance at Tokyo 2020."
Case Title: ARUNDHATI CHOUDHARY v. BOXING FEDERATION OF INDIA & ORS.