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Delhi HC seeks BFI stand on performance of 3 boxers excluded from World Championships

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the stand of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on the past performance of boxers Manju Rani, Shiksha Narwal and Poonam Poonia, who were left out of the squad for the upcoming Women’s World Boxing Championships, to be held here from March 15 to 31.

On March 7, the court had asked the BFI to place on record documents relating to the evaluation of their performance.

The BFI also placed before the court the evaluation sheet of the petitioners in relation to the selection process.

Petitioners’ counsel 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 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, a bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh 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 listed the matter for the next hearing on March 14.

During the last hearing, the court had 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 three 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.



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