In a big relief to five-time Paralympian shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Paralympic Committee of India to recommend his name as an additional participant in the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Earlier in the day, senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the petitioner, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and sought urgent hearing, as the date of selection for shooting in Tokyo Paralympic is August 2 and if the matter is heard on August 6, as scheduled by the Delhi High Court, it would make the plea infructuous.
Later, in the afternoon, a bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, B.R. Gavai, and Krishna Murari took up the matter. After hearing arguments, the bench directed the committee to immediately recommend Sharma’s name as additional participant or additional entry in the 50 m para shooter category of the Paralympics.
Sharma had moved the Delhi High Court, through advocate Satyam Singh, challenging his exclusion from the international event meant for physically challenged participants. The high court had observed that there was arbitrariness in the committee’s decision, but, it did not pass immediate orders for his inclusion on the list.
Posting the hearing on his plea on August 6, the high court had directed the Sports Authority of India and the Union Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs to examine his non-selection.
Sharma filed a plea in the top court, filed through advocates Varun Singh and Nitin Saluja, challenging the high court order.
“The petitioner humbly seeks intervention of this court in the present matter as the legitimate opportunity of the petitioner to participate in Tokyo Paralympics in R7 event and consequently bring laurels to the country will be lost if the arbitrary, discriminatory and capricious selection of the shooter in R7 event by the selection committee of PCI is allowed,” the plea said.