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Delhi High Court Justice Ravindra Bhatt  has recused himself from hearing the plea filed by several professional golfers challenging the Delhi Golf Club’s decision to stop their entry  into the club premises.

Eighteen professional golfers, including Asian Games silver medallist and two times Asia Champion Rashid Khan moved the HC  seeking cancellation of the club lease . They referred to the Centre’s instruction to reserve 10 per cent quota for professional golf players and contended that the public land with the Golf Club  was for the “Promotion of Sport of Golf”, and provide training, facilities, infrastructure and open access to golf professionals, amateurs and young golfers.

Justice Bhatt himself is a member of Delhi Golf Club and the matter will be listed before an appropriate bench.

In their plea filed earlier in February, the golfers alleged that the DGC, which was leased land to promote the sport, has stopped entry of the players inside the premises. The plea suggested that the Centre had leased the club land at nominal rates in lieu of 10 per cent reservation of memberships for professional golfers. The club has instead only “put hurdles, hindrances and speed breakers on the practice and dreams of professional golfers”.

The professional and amateur golfers said they aspire “to live in a fair, equitable and inclusive world” and filed the petition “for the benefit of professional, amateur and young golfers from economically weak backgrounds”.

The golfers sought from the Centre the revocation of the lease deed, taking control of the club and create infrastructure and facilities conducive for creating “medal winners at ‘Olympics’ and ‘Champions’ at other Golfing events”.

—India Legal Bureau

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