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Cancellation of Arjuna award to athlete: HC reserves order

Delhi high court

Delhi high courtNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on Kerala-based NGO’s plea against the government’s last-minute decision not to confer on triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary prestigious Arjuna award in 2013.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw reserved the judgment after conclusion of arguments.

The high court had on May 28 sought a response of the Centre and asked the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs whether on the basis of the athelete’s achievements he can be considered for the award next year.

Navalokam Samskarika Kendram of Kottayam had, in its plea, alleged the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs not only selected the athlete but also sent the prize money of Rs 5 lakh through cheque, besides the air ticket.

The conferment of the award was cancelled at the last minute causing grave embarrassment to the athlete, it had said.

The ministry decided not to confer the award on the ground that the triple jumper was found to have used a ‘scheduled’ substance (ephedrine) back in 2008.

Besides the Ministry, the plea had also made Sports Authority of India, Athletics Federation of India and Director General of National Anti Doping Agency as parties.

It had sought quashing of alleged 2008 dope test report of the athlete on the ground that National Anti-Doping Agency has not been accredited by World Anti-Doping Agency and moreover, the “custody of the sample” did not satisfy the legal requirements.

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