Delhi HC Rejects Shooter Manini Kaushik’s Plea for Participation in Paris Olympics Trials

Manini Kaushik

The Delhi High Court has declined shooter Manini Kaushik’s petition to allow her to compete in the trials for the upcoming Paris Olympics in the 50m rifle 3 position women’s category.

A single bench of Justice Subramonium Prasad stated that the selection criteria were established by experts, and the court cannot question it when it is reasonable and set in good faith.

“This court believes that the selection has been made in the best interest of the nation and in accordance with the norms applicable to all athletes nationwide. There is no evidence presented to this Court that the petitioner has been intentionally excluded or that there has been any favoritism in selecting any athlete,” the judge remarked.

Exclusion from Olympic Trials

Manini Kaushik had challenged her exclusion from the Paris Olympic selection trials, arguing that the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) should not have introduced a new selection criterion in 2023 to modify eligibility.

It was argued that if the original criterion had been followed, three shooters ranked third, sixth, and seventh nationally, lacking the requisite Qualification Ranking for the Olympic Games (QROG) points, would have been excluded, and Kaushik would have been among the top five successful candidates for Olympic selection trials.

High Court’s Observation

The court noted that the 2023 criteria were not challenged and there was a valid reason behind amending the earlier criteria.

Additionally, it stated that Kaushik had not adequately supported her grievance regarding not being allowed to participate in the International Shooting Sport Federation Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle in Rio De Janeiro. Therefore, the court was not inclined to interfere with NRAI’s decision not to select her.

“The selection criteria were formulated by field experts. The rationale behind changing the selection criteria was to ensure that a larger number of participants have the opportunity to be eligible for selection trials, as the aim has always been to select the best from a wide pool of players.

The 2023 criteria were devised in good faith, and the petitioner’s argument that the rules were changed after the game began cannot be accepted for two reasons: i. The criteria are not unreasonable; ii. The criteria itself are not being challenged,” the court stated.

Consequently, the court dismissed the writ petition along with any pending applications.

Earlier Hearing

On April 22, the court had declared that the selection process for the trials held that month for the upcoming Paris Olympics would be subject to the outcome of Kaushik’s petition.

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