Manoj Kumar to be reconsidered for Arjuna Award after Central Government intervenes
On August 12, Indian boxer, Manoj Kumar, learned that he had not been included1on the awardees’ shortlist for the Arjuna Award, a scholarship for outstanding athletic achievement on an international level (see the Shceme for the Arjuna Awards - ‘the Scheme’).2
It transpired, however, that Kumar was overlooked as a result of an error by the Sports Ministry’s3 Arjuna Awards Selection Committee (the “Committee”),4 who mistook him for a different boxer with the same name previously involved in doping.
After a representation by Kumar, the Committee reconsidered but still chose not to include him, without giving reasons. This was despite, according to Kumar, the Sports Ministry ensuring him he would be included this time round.6
Consequently, Kumar filed a petition against the Committee at the Delhi High Court7 containing two applications: first, asking the Committee’s to reconsider him for the shortlist and seeking a corresponding stay of the Arjuna Award ceremony; and, secondly, to quash the Committee altogether and “reconstituting [it] to include a majority of sportspersons as per the earlier scheme." 8
At the initial hearing on August 26, the Court instructed the Sports Ministry to present details on the Committee’s selection policy and how the shortlist for the Arjuna Award is compiled.9
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- Tags: Anti-Doping | Arjuna Award Selection Committee | Boxing | Delhi High Court | Governance | India | Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports | Regulation
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Manali is currently a fourth year JD Candidate at the University of Maine School of Law. She was the COO at LawInSport and continues to be an executive contributor of the editorial board for LawInSport. She holds an LLM in Sports Law from Nottingham Law School (Nottingham Trent University). She is currently the legal extern for the Professional Collegiate League, and also serves as an intern for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.