Delhi High Court Rejects Shooter Manini Kaushik’s Plea for Inclusion in Paris Olympics Trials

The Delhi High Court, presided by Justice Subramonium Prasad, has dismissed a petition by Indian shooter Manini Kaushik, who sought to participate in the selection trials for the upcoming Paris Olympics in the 50m rifle 3 position women’s category. The court held that the selection criteria, established by experts, were reasonable and crafted in good faith, thus not subject to judicial review.

Justice Prasad articulated that the selection was conducted in the best interest of the country and adhered to uniform norms applicable to all sportspersons nationwide. He noted, “Nothing has been shown to this Court that the petitioner has been deliberately omitted or that there has been any favoritism in selecting any sportsperson.”

Kaushik had challenged her exclusion based on the National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) introduction of a new selection criterion in 2023. She argued that under the previous criteria, certain competitors lacking the requisite Qualification Ranking for the Olympic Games (QROG) points would not have qualified, potentially placing her among the top contenders.

The court acknowledged the NRAI’s rationale for revising the criteria in 2023, emphasizing that it was not under direct challenge in this case. It was determined that the changes were made to broaden the eligibility pool and select the best candidates from a larger group of shooters.

Further addressing Kaushik’s complaint regarding her non-selection for the International Shooting Sport Federation Final Olympic Qualification Championship in Rio De Janeiro, the court found her arguments insufficient to merit a reversal of the NRAI’s decision.

Justice Prasad concluded that the selection process was neither arbitrary nor biased, affirming, “The selection criteria has been evolved by the experts in the field… The argument of the petitioner that the rules of the game have been changed after the game has begun cannot be accepted.”

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Thus, the court dismissed Kaushik’s writ petition along with any associated pending applications. This ruling was in line with an earlier statement from the court on April 22, indicating that the outcomes of the trials held in April for the Paris Olympics would hinge on the resolution of Kaushik’s legal challenge.

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