Tue, 21 Sep 2021

New Delhi [India], August 2 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) to recommend five-time Paralympian shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma's name as an additional participant for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics Games, starting from August 24.

A Bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, BR Gavai, and Krishna Murari while taking into note that today is the last day of sending names of participants, directed the PCI to send Sharma's name and file compliance report by tomorrow.

"We direct Respondent Committee to immediately recommend petitioner's name as an additional candidate for the concerned event and report compliance by tomorrow. The rest of the issues and directions that may be necessary shall be passed tomorrow. Copy of this order be forwarded to Respondent Committee," the Bench stated in its order.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General KM Natarajan appearing for Centre informed the Bench that the Central government has no role to play in the selection and it is the domain of the Paralympics Committee.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh appearing for Sharma told the Bench that the President of the committee was contacted, however, despite being apprised about the proceeding, no appearance has been made before the Bench.

When the hearing started at 2 pm, the Bench told Singh that it cannot pass an ex parte order and opponent parties have to appear. Vikas Singh then sought time from the Bench to inform the Respondents about the case. When the hearing resumed advocate informed the court that the President of PCI spoke for five minutes with the counsel and then she switched off her phone.

The apex court was hearing the plea of Sharma challenging an order of the Delhi High Court which had posted his plea relating to his non-selection for the upcoming Tokyo Games for hearing on August 6.

Earlier in the day, senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Sharma, mentioned that the matter was mentioned before Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, saying today was the last day for submitting names for Paralympics.

The CJI has said that he will consider the urgent hearing request of the petitioner challenging the exclusion of his name from the Tokyo Paralympics today itself.

"If there is any real urgency we will allow it to some court. Let us see", CJI Ramana told Singh. It later listed the matter before a bench headed by Justice Khanwilkar for hearing, which passed the order.

Singh has told the Bench that though the Delhi High Court agreed that his exclusion was illegal but it has kept the matter for hearing to August 6.

The advocate said that the last date of selection for shooting in the Tokyo Paralympic is August 2 and if the matter is heard on August 6, it would make the plea infructuous.

It was further contended by Singh said that Sharma was a disabled shooter, who has won the Arjuna award, and his name has been excluded from the Paralympics in an arbitrary manner.

Sharma in his plea has said that on July 30 a Division Bench of the High Court had sought responses of the Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) and the Centre on his appeal against its single-judge order which had refused to interfere with his non-selection for the games.

The plea said that the event will start from August 24, and August 2 is the deadline for Tokyo 2020 organizing committee to receive sports entry forms submitted by the National Paralympic Committee (NPC).

Before the High Court Sharma had 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 had complained that the Committee wrongly selected one Deepak to participate in Tokyo Paralympic in the event, in his place. (ANI)

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