New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with exclusion of three boxers — Manju Rani, Shiksha Narwal and Poonam Poonia — from the squad for the upcoming Women’s World Boxing Championships, to be held here from March 15 to 31.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh said that as per the tally of medals won and performance 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,” she said.
The court listed the matter’s next hearing for August.
The High Court on Monday had sought the stand of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on the past performance of the three boxers.
On March 7, the court had asked the BFI to place on record documents relating to the evaluation of their performance.
The BFI had also placed before the court the evaluation sheet of the petitioners in relation to the selection process.
Petitioners’ counsel had contented that during the years 2018-2022, their performance was better than some of those selected for the tournament who hardly won any medals. Counsel emphasised that the players should be chosen based on their meritorious prior performances, and that the petitioners should be chosen.
This was opposed by the BFI’s counsel, who had said the names of those selected have already been sent to the authorities concerned.
While noting that the court cannot discuss the merits of selection, Justice Singh had stated that the differences in some of the players’ performances were very apparent and gave the BFI’s counsel time to seek guidance on the matter.
The court had earlier refused to give any interim relief to the boxers but asked the BFI to explore the possibility of including them as reserve players with the squad if rules allow.
The boxers have filed a petition after they were left out of the Indian squad for the World Cup after being called for the camp and trials.
Counsel for the BFI had informed Justice Singh that the federation has followed its selection policy which is placed on its website. After inclusion in the national camp, the players were evaluated on various parameters by the High-Performance Director and national team coaches.
“The selection was done without bias and the team was selected after carefully evaluating players over the weeks at the national camp,” the BFI had argued.
The petitioners’ counsel had argued that BFI has included in the team players that had lost to these the petitioner boxers in the national championships held at Bhopal in December 2022.
In its argument, the BFI had claimed that winning the national championship was only one criterion while the evaluation by the coaches was the other basis.