Updated: August 14, 2015 9:06:29 am
Pugilist Vijender Singh on Thursday approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court urging it to direct the Haryana government to grant him permission to participate in the professional boxing league in England.
The 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist, who is also a DSP in Haryana police, informed the court he had submitted two applications with the Haryana DGP — first on July 3 and another on July 24 — to grant him one year’s leave. But no action has been taken in this regard, the court was informed.
Taking cognizance of news items published with regard to Vijender’s decision to turn pro and join the Queensbury Promotions boxing league, the high court earlier issued notices to the state of Haryana and Vijender for July 24, terming the action of the pugilist as being against the sports policy. Earlier this month, Vijender had played down the objections raised by his employers — Haryana Police — after he turned pro.
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The pugilist clarified that he has “not entered into any contract with Queensberry Promotions Ltd. (London based company) till now” as is being alleged. He also placed on record a letter issued by the Queensberry Promotions Limited on July 24.
The 29-year-old added that he is not the first employee of Haryana Police who has been appointed on the basis of his achievements in the field of sports and should not be restricted from playing in professional leagues.
He cited 13 examples of sportspersons who have been allowed by the state government to play in professional leagues. These include kabaddi players Sonu Narwal, Anup Kumar, Samrjeet and Jasmer Gulia, tennis player Sanam Singh, hockey players Sardar Singh and Sandeep Singh, pugilists Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar, cricketer Joginder Sharma, and wrestlers Geeta Phogat, Babita Phogat and Yogeshwar Dutt.
The petitioner also said that professional boxing is the highest arena where a boxer can showcase his skills and cited examples of amateur boxers such as Mohammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Evander Holyfield, Amir Khan (England) and Manny Pacquiao (Philippines) who have turned professionals and brought laurels to their country. “Petitioner’s entry into the arena of professional boxing will open new vistas for Indian boxers, who can exhibit their talent in the most competitive international arena,” Vijender said.
The hearing was headed by Justice Mahesh Grover, who said the plea will be heard by the division bench comprising Justices SK Mittal and Mahavir Singh Chauhan where a similar case is pending in which high court had earlier taken suo motu notice of the news items that Vijender has signed contract to enter professional boxing without the state’s permission.
The division bench had issued notices to the Haryana government to file its reply. The case would now come up for hearing on August 20.
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