In a special bench hearing on Saturday, the Delhi High Court held in abeyance a single bench order to give the Dronacharya Award to former national wrestling coach Vinod Kumar. The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath held that the “positive direction” given by the single bench to include Kumar’s name in the list of awardees “virtually amounts to granting the relief sought” by Kumar in his petition.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had appealed against the order, issued on Friday, to include Kumar’s name in the list of awardees due to get the awards on Saturday.
The bench has now directed that the presentation of the award to Anoop Singh Dahiya “may go on as scheduled” but “the decision of the selection committee conferring said award shall not be treated as conclusive and the same shall be subject to the outcome of the writ petition”.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain had said that the court “ought not have interfered” with the decision of the selection committee, as it is an expert body. The division bench has now directed the single bench hearing Kumar’s plea to decide the case within six weeks.
The sports ministry, in its plea, had said that Anoop Singh had been given higher marks than Kumar in the selection process on the basis of the medals won by their trainees. “The single judge has erred in ignoring the fact that since respondent no 1 has already been given due recognition by way of the Dhyan Chand Award in 2012, he is not eligible for the Dronacharya Award this year. The award selection committee took note of the fact that Kumar has already been given due recognition by way of the Dhyan Chand Award for his contribution as coach,” said the plea filed by the ministry.