The Delhi High Court has asked the Sports Ministry to see if the decision to not award national junior pistol shooting coach Jaspal Rana the Dronacharya this year can be reconsidered by the selection committee, according to a report by The Indian Express.
The hearing was on Tuesday, two days before the National Sports Award ceremony on Thursday.
The court’s direction came after Delhi State Rifle Association, represented by lawyer Rahul Mehra questioned the discrepancies in giving marks for the award.
Rana’s exclusion from the list of nominees for the 2019 National Sports Award snowballed into a big controversy after the committee that includes former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia and athlete Anju Bobby George gave different reasons for why the Asian Games gold medallist did not make the cut.
The snub was also questioned by the country’s only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra. Rana has been holding the Indian junior coach’s position for the past seven years and has is part of the system that has given rise to a new breed of young shooting sensations who have an enjoyed immense success in the last couple of years at the ISSF World Cup, Asian and Commonwealth Games.
The major reason given for his exclusion was that Rana did not fulfill the criteria that a coach must have trained an athlete who has won an award for at least 180 days at a stretch to be eligible for the award.
“He may have secured the marks, but he was not considered because he has not given 180 days coaching to individual disciples,” the ASG had said, adding that several claims had been rejected on this ground itself.
However, this claim was refuted by Rana who has said that as national coach would not be able to train someone for that long since they are available at national camps.
The judge asked Additional Solicitor General Maninder Acharya to revisit Rana’s application after it was pointed by Mehra that another Sandeep Gupta was considered for the Dronacharya despite lacking 180 days of coaching to individual sportspersons.
The selection panel nominated Vimal Kumar (Badminton), Sandeep Gupta (Table tennis) and Mohinder Singh Dhillon (Athletics) for the Dronacharya Award in regular category on Saturday.