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In a bizarre turn of events, the Delhi High Court yesterday passed an order that effectively keeps this year’s Dronacharya award out of the reach of former national wrestling coach Vinod Kumar.
Kumar had earlier approached the High Court against the decision of the Dronacharya Award Selection Committee for ignoring him and recommending Anup Singh Dahiya instead.
Acting on the petition, a Single Bench of Justice VP Vaish had directed for Kumar’s name to be included in the list of Dronacharya awardees. The Bench had also said in its order that such prestigious awards should be beyond the realm of discrepancies, which were found to be present in the instant case.
But the twist in the tale came yesterday, when the Centre decided to challenge the Single Bench judgment and stated in its appeal that the order of the Single Bench was liable to be set aside because it violated the (amended) scheme of the Dronacharya Awards.
The appeal also said that the Bench, exercising its power under Article 226, ought not to have interfered with the decision of the Selection Committee- an expert body.
ASG Sanjay Jain appeared for the Union before a Division Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini & Justice Jayant Nath and submitted that as per the amended scheme, not more than one award can be given in each discipline. He also stated that if Kumar succeded in his petition then the Sports Ministry shall take ‘appropriate steps in terms of the order, including conferment of the award.’
Noting these submissions, the Division Bench directed that the Dronacharya Award should be conferred on Anup Singh but the said decision of the Selection Committee will not be treated as exclusive and will be subject to the outcome of the petition filed by Kumar. It also directed for the Single Judge to ‘expeditiously dispose of’ Kumar’s writ within a period of six weeks.