Court gives Sushil Kumar's Olympics bid a new lease of life
Delhi High Court today directed Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to give a hearing to Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, who has sought a selection trial to decide who will represent India in the men's 74 kg freestyle category at Rio Games.
The Court said "individuals may suffer" but the country has to be placed on a "higher pedestal" and left it to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to decide on India's challenge in 74 kg men's freestyle at the Rio Olympics, a bone of contention between wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Pancham Yadav.
The court's observation came amidst allegations by the WFI counsel that two time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar had been approaching the Prime Minister and media for getting Olympic berth even as Narsingh Pancham Yadav had won a medal in world wrestling championship in 74 kg freestyle category.
When Sushil's counsel pressed for a direction to WFI for conducting the trial in first week of June, Justice Manmohan said, "The Indian cause will suffer. We cannot do this at this stage. Indian cause has to be placed on a higher pedestal. Individuals may suffer but the country has to be placed higher."
"He (WFI counsel) is pointing out relevant facts. They (WFI) are the people who will have to take decision. I will only interfere as a last resort. You cannot deny the fact that one of them (Yadav) has given India a place in the Olympics," the court said.
"This court directs that in the meantime, the petitioner (Sushil) shall be given a hearing by the President, Vice President, Secretary and coach of respondent number 4 (WFI)," Justice Manmohan said.
The court also sought the response of the Sports Ministry and WFI and asked them to filed their affidavits. The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on May 27.
The court's direction came while hearing a petition filed by Sushil, who was present in the court room, seeking a direction to WFI to conduct a selection trial for selecting the wrestler who will represent the country in 74 kg freestyle category.
The counsel appearing for Sushil told the court that the Olympic medallist was injured when a Wrestling Championship was held last year where another athlete Narsingh Pancham Yadav had won a medal. He said that as Yadav had won the medal in Wrestling Championship, the Olympic berth was given to him in the category. He also said that as per the scheme of government of India for promoting wrestlers to win medals at the Olympics, Sushil has been getting funds for his training.