Additional slot cannot be provided for shooter Naresh Sharma: International Paralympic Committee informs India

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Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], August 3 (ANI): The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has informed India that an additional slot cannot be provided for five-time Paralympian shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma for the Tokyo Paralympics Games 2020, the Supreme Court was apprised in a plea on Tuesday.

The SC on Monday had directed the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) to immediately recommend the name of Sharma as an additional participant for the 50m shooting event at the Tokyo Paralympics starting from August 24, after he approached the Supreme Court challenging his non-selection for Paralympics games.

An email sent by IPC to the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) states, "NPC India was awarded and accepted 10 qualification slots (8 male and 2 female) that were earned through the qualification process. As you know, these slots were allocated to the NPC, not the individual athlete. All of the WSPS slots have been allocated in accordance with the published Qualification Criteria and we are not able to award any additional slots."

During the hearing today, senior advocate Vikas Singh appearing for Sharma told a Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar that Tokyo has refused to allow an additional slot to Sharma.

Singh asked the apex court to grant him liberty to move to Delhi High Court which can decide whether the other one in the list should go or Sharma should go, or both can go.

The Supreme Court then passed the order and granted liberty to Sharma to move High Court so that appropriate directions should be granted. Sharma's plea has already been pending before the High Court.

"We dispose off this plea with liberty to approach HighCourt and request High Court to consider this plea expeditiously," the Bench stated in its order.

The top court was hearing the plea of Sharma challenging an order of the Delhi High Court which had posted his plea relating to his non-selection for the upcoming Tokyo Games for hearing on August 6.

Singh had told the Bench that though the Delhi High Court agreed that his exclusion was illegal but it has kept the matter for hearing to August 6 and it would make the plea infructuous.

Singh contended that Sharma was a disabled shooter, who has won the Arjuna award, and his name has been excluded from the Paralympics in an arbitrary manner.

Naresh Sharma in his plea before the top court had said that on July 30 a Division Bench of the High Court had sought responses of the Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) and the Centre on his appeal against its single-judge order which had refused to interfere with his non-selection for the games.

The plea said that the event will start from August 24, and August 2 is the deadline for Tokyo 2020 organising committee to receive sports entry forms submitted by the National Paralympic Committee (NPC).

Sharma had contended before the High Court that the Selection Committee of PCI wrongly applied the eligibility criteria specified under the National Sports Development Code of India 2011 while shortlisting the candidates. He had complained that the Committee wrongly selected one Deepak in his place to participate in the Tokyo Paralympic Games. (ANI)

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