The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the non-selection of three national champions Manju Rani, Shiksha Narwal and Poonam Poonia for the upcoming Women’s World Boxing Championships.
Justice Prathiba M Singh said in view of the medal tally and evaluation forms of the players, no case for interference with the list of boxers selected to represent the country in the sporting event was made out and the petitioners shall continue to remain in the reserve list for the championship.
“The court notices that scope of interference in a writ petition is limited. The evaluation form has been perused by the court as also the medal tally. The present is not a case for interference under Article 226. The team which has been selected is permitted to go ahead and represent India,” the judge said.
The championship is set to take place from March 15 to 31 in Delhi.
Earlier, the counsel for the petitioners had said during 2018 to 2022, the performance of the petitioners was better than the selected players who hardly owned any medals.
On Tuesday, the counsel for Boxing Federation of India (BFI)said the petitioners’ assertion was misleading as the selected players represented the country in recent events and won medals, including a gold medal Nitu Ghangas clinched in the Commonwealth Games last year.
The court perused the medal tally prepared by the BFI and refused to grant any interim relief to the petitioners.
“I have seen the chart. They (selected players) are equally competent,” the court stated.
The petitioners also contended that the one of the coaches who evaluated the players in the selection process was not even present during the camp for certain durations.
The court granted time to the BFI to file a response to the petition which has prayed for constitution of a committee for fair selection of players.
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The petitioners had approached the high court earlier this month over their non-inclusion and asserted the selection ought to happen on the basis of meritorious performances in the past.
The petitioners had told the court they had defeated all those who have been selected at the national championships held in December 2022 in Bhopal.
The BFI earlier submitted that winning a gold medal was only one of the qualifying criteria and the players were evaluated at the national camp on the basis of selection criteria for national camps and world championship 2023.
According to the BFI, the new selection policy for the men’s and women’s World Championships and the Asian Games was followed to pick the national team and Manju (48 kg), Shiksha (54 kg) and Poonam (60 kg) could not make it to the 12-member side.
According to the new policy, drafted in consultation with High Performance Director (HPD) Bernard Dunne, the boxers underwent an evaluation process for three weeks where they were judged on various parameters.
Nine of the 12 national champions were ranked one and qualified for the marquee event.
Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghangas (634), Preeti (623) and CWG bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (612), finished ahead of the petitioners — Manju (564), Shiksha (573) and Poonam (567) in the evaluation test and were ranked one.
Last week, the court had refused to grant any interim relief to the petitioner players and said in the meantime, if a reserved category player is being maintained, the petitioners’ names should be considered for that.
The matter will be heard next in August.