Delhi High Court on Tejaswin Shankar’s application

The Delhi High Court on Friday hoped that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) would consider including high jumper Tejaswin Shankar and four other athletes in the national squad for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games by increasing the team quota.

“This court is optimistic that the IOA Athletics Federation India Quotas for participation in the Commonwealth Games (AFI) so that all the five additional selected athletes (including Shankar) are included in the Commonwealth team, ”Justice Jasmeet Singh said, adding that a further hearing would be held on July 4.

The court’s observation followed a presentation by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) stating that Shankar could be included in the team if the AFI quota was increased by the IOA.

Shankar, India’s high jump national record holder, was knocking on the door of the Delhi High Court after being dropped from the 2022 Commonwealth Games squad. He was not included in the list of 37 names selected by the federation at the selection committee meeting held last week.

At the last hearing, the court noted that Shankar is the main contender for this year and only two people above him make a better leap in the world. He himself fulfilled the qualification marks prescribed by the AFI. The federation has been actively asked to consider its participation in the selection meeting, the court noted.

Delhi-based Shankar is studying Business Administration at Kansas State University in the US and has been on a four-year Athletics Scholarship since 2017.

In the petition, the petitioner argued that AFI’s decision to exclude him from the CWG team was arbitrary, illegal and against the national interest.

Despite holding the National High Jump record holder (2.29m) and being the only Indian to meet the Athletics Federation of India’s (AFI) 2.27m qualification standard with a recent jump of 2.27m on June 10, the Federation has decided. , While winning a gold medal at the 2022 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, his application stated.

The petitioner had submitted to national head coach Radhakrishnan Nair in early February 2022 that he had sought exemption from participating in the inter-state championship as it clashed with the NCAA championship through WhatsApp. However, the petitioner’s request for exemption was not answered by the AFI, he said.

In fact, Radhakrishnan informed the applicant on June 11 via WhatsApp that he would be considered by the selection committee based on his 2.27m jump in the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championship 2022, and repeatedly inquired about the applicant’s visa status. CWG 2022, he added.

The application further stated that the “AFI Qualification Guidelines for the Selection of Indian Teams” gives the AFI the discretion to exempt “elite” athletes from participating in inter-state championships. The guide itself does not talk about the need for representation for exemption and it is clear that AFI can exempt selected athletes if deemed appropriate.

The AFI released Neeraj Chopra, Seema Poonia and Avinash Sable from the event. In fact, Ms Poonia was included in the team despite not meeting the qualification criteria in any competition this season (her 55.97m is the best this season against the 58m qualification standard). Despite this, Mrs. Poonia has been allowed into the team although she maintains a standard of eligibility in California, ”the writ petition read.

In the application, Manika Batra v. The case of Table Tennis Federation of India, 2021 was also cited, stating that the court had accepted the submission of the Additional Solicitor General that the National Sports The Code, 2011 commands all national sports federations to make a fair selection of players to participate in major international events not only on the basis of their attendance at national camps organized by them but also on the basis of merit.

It was also introduced that there is nothing in the Sports Code, 2011 that mandates sports bodies to enact such rules for individual-based sports where the comfort, convenience and choice of individual player is paramount.

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