New Delhi, May 23 IANS | 5 months ago

An organisation Friday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the decision of central government not to confer the Arjuna award in 2013 to international triple-jumper Renjith Maheshwary, despite his selection for the prestigious prize.

Justice Manmohan, while agreeing to hear the case, posted it for May 26.

Approaching the court, the Kerala-based Navalokam Samskarika Kendram of Kottayam contended that Maheshwari was selected for the Arjuna Award in 2013. The award, however, was cancelled at the last minute.

The plea asked the court to pass direction to the central govenment to confer the award on Maheshwari as decided by the selection committee and the sports ministry in 2013 or to consider him in 2014.

The central government declined to confer Maheshwari the Arjuna award, saying the athlete was involved in a doping-related incident in 2008 after which he was banned for three months on Jan 10, 2009.

"Central sports ministry despite observing certain irregularities in chain of custody of sample, cancelled award on account of ban being imposed by Athletic Federation of India Jan 10, 2009, for adverse analytical finding in his blood sample."

Maheshwari had never tested positive in a dope test nor was any ban imposed by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), said the plea. It added that even NADA has not been accredited by World Anti-Doping Agency.

The plea said that after Maheshwari was selected for the award, prize money of Rs.5 lakh through cheque was issued to him as well as a flight ticket from Chennai to New Delhi, required dresses for the ceremony. The rehearsal for receiving the award was also done at Rashtrapati Bhavan and his name showed in second place out of 15 Arjuna awardees.

(Posted on 23-05-2014)

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