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Delhi High Court dismisses as withdrawn, plea filed by Arjuna awardee Paralympian for inclusion in Tokyo 2020

Pramod Bhagat is already representing India in Men’s single SL-3 and similarly, Palak Kohli is representing India in Women’s single SU-5 and women’s double SL-3 SU-S event, along with Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar.

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition as withdrawn, filed by Arjuna awardee and former Para-Badminton World Champion Raj Kumar, seeking direction to include his name, along with Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar, for mixed doubles SL 3- SU 5 event, Badminton at the upcoming Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020.

A Single Judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli, while hearing the matter yesterday, had deferred the hearing till today after Senior Advocate Navin S Kohli, appearing on behalf of the Badminton Association of India, submitted that he wanted to rely upon a compilation of documents, which could not be filed due to paucity of time and sought time to file the same.

According to the Race to Tokyo Paralympic Ranking List published on May 20, 2021, Raj Kumar and his pair Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar stand at rank no 6 with total 2360 points, whereas the pair of Parmod Bhagat and Palak Kohli stand at rank no 31 with total 50 points. 

Pramod Bhagat is already representing India in Men’s single SL-3 and similarly, Palak Kohli is representing India in Women’s single SU-5 and women’s double SL-3 SU-S event, along with Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar.  

Mr Kohli informed the court that selection of Tokyo Paralympic Games started with Paralympic Year, Race to Tokyo events on January 19, 2019, as formulated by the Badminton World Federation and the Paralympic Committee, Tokyo Games.

Mr Kohli further submitted that the role of Badminton Association of India in selection of players is limited to receiving invitations and confirming the same. He said the Bipartite system is a discretionary system that falls into play if by merit somebody is not available and the Badminton Association of India has no role in this system.

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Advocate Sunny Singhla, appearing for the petitioner, informed the court that the petitioner’s entry was sent by the Badminton Association of India on June 16. Mr Singhla said the Association received an email on June 24, stating the Association has to select between two pairs, namely Pramod Bhagat & Palak Kohli or Tarun & Jyoti and in the reply to this mail, the Association selected the entry of Pramod Bhagat & Palak Kohli, when the petitioner’s entry was still under consideration.

Mr Kohli informed the court that the entry of Pramod Bhagat and Palak Kohli have been selected by Mixed Double Quota Allocation and further submitted that the email dated June 24, 2021 had set a deadline for June 30, 2021 to confirm the entry.

Justice Rekha Palli was of the opinion that the respondents were not responsible for any grievance caused to the petitioner, if any grievance, it lies against the Badminton World Federation.

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