In a significant development, the Athletics Federation of India has informed the Delhi High Court that it will include the name of high-jumper Tejaswin Shankar in the list of players who are part of the Indian contingent for the upcoming 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Reportedly, Justice Yashwant Varma was hearing the petition submitted by the player against his exclusion from the team of selected players for the sporting event.
The AFI lawyer reportedly informed the court that there was a vacancy as one of the athletes, who were part of the Indian contingent for the relay event was disqualified and therefore the petitioner’s name shall now be forwarded in his place. While stating the decision, the court stated that “Mr Hrishikesh Baruah, learned counsel appearing for AFI has on instructions, apprised the court that Arokia Rajiv, an athlete who was part of the four by four hundred relay team, has come to be disqualified in trials which were held.”
The order further noted, “In view of the resultant vacancy which has occurred, the petitioner’s name shall be included and forwarded forthwith amongst the list of athletes part of the Indian contingent for the upcoming CWG.”
The court further added that it would keep the petition pending to examine the issues raised in it so that this national embarrassment does not happen again. The court stated that after hearing the counsel for parties at length and taking into account the material which had been placed for its perusal, the court finds that the issues which are raised in the writ petition includes the question of selections being made in accordance with the standard prescribed by AFI or the CWG.
“The right of athletes training or competing overseas at the time of trials being conducted in the country, the procedure for exemption would merit further consideration so that disputes like the present which was faced by the petitioner athlete do not recur,” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on August 25.