Rifle event: Selection process for Paris olympics will depend on outcome of shooter’s petition, says HC

New Delhi, Apr 22 (PTI) The Delhi High Court said on Monday the ongoing selection trials for the 50m Rifle 3 Position for the upcoming Paris Olympics will depend on the outcome of a plea by shooter Manini Kaushik who has questioned the eligibility criteria.

She has challenged the eligibility criteria which allows only the top five shooters in the category to participate in the trial. Manini failed to meet the criteria by a fraction of points.

The trials are being held at Karni Singh Shooting Range, Delhi from April 18 to April 27. The next set of Olympics selection trials will be held in May to decide the pistol and rifle teams for the Paris games which will commence on July 26.

The high court said if the petition is allowed at a later stage, the entire selection process for the 50m Rifle 3 Position will have to be undertaken again and Kaushik will be allowed to participate in the trials.

The court’s observations came as the counsel for the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) submitted that the eligibility criteria for the trials had been duly set out and it was not possible to allow the petitioner to participate in the trials.

“The selection will be subject to the outcome of the petition and if the petitioner succeeds, the entire selection process will be done again and the petitioner will be allowed to participate. If the petition gets allowed, everybody will have to participate again,” Justice Subramonium Prasad said.

The high court listed the matter for final hearing on April 29 and said it is expected that the NRAI will file its reply by April 25.

During the hearing, the counsel for the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and Sports Authority of India (SAI) said it is for the NRAI to decide the criteria.

The petitioner’s lawyer had said it was an “unfortunate case” where a player, whose contribution to the sport was even acknowledged by the prime minister in a letter to her after she won the silver medal at the 2022 Asian Games, has not been called for the selection trials.

The court had earlier observed that sportspersons should be given more respect and asked the authorities to permit the petitioner to participate in the trials during the pendency of her plea.

The NRAI had said the case was not adversarial and the petitioner was a good shooter but allowing her to participate would have ramifications as there were other similarly placed players.

It had said the selection process was not “casual” and the eligibility criteria to participate in the trials were duly spelt out.

Source: PTI News


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