Delhi HC refuses to interfere with shooter Manini Kaushik’s non-selection for Paris Olympics trials

New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to interfere with a single judge order dismissing a petition by shooter Manini Kaushik to allow her to participate in the trials for the upcoming Paris Olympics in the 50 m rifle 3 position women’s category.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan said Kaushik’s appeal challenging the decision of a single judge was infructuous as the trials have already been held.

“This is too late in the day. Your prayers are infructuous. This is over,” said the bench, also comprising Justice Manmeet P S Arora.

At this stage, the selected players should be allowed to practice and participate or else “India will suffer”, it said.

“The appeal is disposed of as infructuous,” the bench added.

The senior counsel appearing for Kaushik said she was treated unfairly and the single judge based his decision on factually incorrect information.

The court observed that the trials were held between April 22 and May 19 and if the appellant’s exclusion from certain other events was deliberate, she should have filed a plea sooner.

On May 15, the single judge had rejected Kaushik’s petition against her exclusion from the trials, saying the selection criteria was evolved by experts and the court could not sit in appeal over it when it was reasonable and set in good faith.

She had challenged her exclusion from the Paris Olympic selection trials on the ground that the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) ought not to have brought out a new selection criterion in 2023 to alter the eligibility.

Had the original criterion been followed, three shooters having national rankings third, sixth and seventh, who do not have the requisite Qualification Ranking for the Olympic Games (QROG) points, would have been eliminated, and the petitioner would have come within the top five successful candidates for Olympic selection trials, it was argued.

The single judge had observed that the 2023 criteria was not under challenge and there was a valid rationale behind amending the earlier criteria.

It had added that the petitioner has “not been able to make much” of her grievance that she was not been permitted to go to Rio De Janeiro to participate in the International Shooting Sport Federation Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle and it was, therefore, not inclined to interfere with the NRAI’s decision to not select the petitioner.