Delhi HC dismisses shooter Manini Kaushik's appeal on Paris Olympics trials

May 24, 2024

New Delhi, May 24 (Agency) : The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by shooter Manini Kaushik, who sought to participate in the selection trials for the 50m rifle 3 position women's category for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, along with Justice Manmeet P.S. Arora, deemed the appeal infructuous as the trials had already concluded.

"This is too late in the day. Your prayers are infructuous. This is over," stated the bench, saying that the selected players need to focus on practicing and preparing for the competition to avoid hampering India's prospects at the Olympics.

Kaushik’s senior counsel argued that she was treated unfairly and that the single judge's decision was based on incorrect information. However, the court noted that the trials took place between April 22 and May 19 and pointed out that any grievance regarding her exclusion should have been raised sooner.

On May 15, the single judge dismissed Kaushik's initial petition against her exclusion, affirming that the selection criteria were devised by experts in good faith and that the court could not overrule it if it was reasonable.

Kaushik had contested her exclusion on the grounds that the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) introduced new selection criteria in 2023, which she claimed altered her eligibility unfairly.

Kaushik argued that under the original criteria, she would have been among the top five candidates for the trials, as three other shooters who lacked the necessary Qualification Ranking for the Olympic Games (QROG) points would have been eliminated. However, the single judge observed that the 2023 criteria were not challenged and there was a valid rationale for their amendment.

The court also noted that Kaushik's grievance about not being permitted to participate in the International Shooting Sport Federation Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle in Rio De Janeiro did not hold substantial weight, and it supported the NRAI's decision.

Thus, the court concluded that the selected athletes should be allowed to continue their preparations without further legal hindrances, affirming the decision of the single judge and disposing of the appeal as infructuous.


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