HC declines to stay National Sports Award over non-inclusion of Asian Games gold medallist in list
The Delhi High Court refused to stay the Arjuna Awards, which are to be conferred on Wednesday at Rashtrapati Bhavan,
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the Arjuna Awards, which are to be conferred on Wednesday during the National Sports Awards ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, over non-inclusion of champion sprinter Manjit Singh's name in the list.
"I am not going to stop the award function which is to take place tomorrow," Justice Prathiba M Singh said while hearing a plea by athlete Manjit Singh, the 800 metre gold medallist of Asian Games 2018.
In his petition, the athlete sought direction to the authorities to consider conferring on him the 'Arjuna Award for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Games (2022)' being a gold medallist at the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta.
The high court issued notices and sought the response of the Sports Authority of India and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to the petition.
While passing the order, the judge said, "The award function cannot be interdicted at this stage" and, if after filing of the replies by the authorities, the court is of the opinion that the petitioner's case needs to be considered, it will see if relaxation is required in the scheme.
Central government standing counsel Anil Soni submitted the announcement for the awards was made on November 14 and the ceremony is fixed for Wednesday.
He said the petitioner has named the other athlete, who is to be conferred the award, in the petition but not made him a party to the matter.
The plea claimed that non-inclusion of his name in the awardee list is "unfair, unreasonable" and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution relating to equality before law.
It said in terms of the scheme for Arjuna Award, Singh commands 30 points as per the points system and he has been excluded from the awardee list while the sportsperson having 25 points has been included.
It said India had won 5 gold medals at the Asian Games in 2018 and all the other individual sportspersons except for the petitioner have already been conferred the Award.
"Petitioner has been continuously nominated for the past 4 years and has not been considered for the Arjuna Award till date despite being meritorious. This is the last chance when the petitioner can be considered and after that he shall not remain eligible for Arjuna Award," the plea submitted.