Boxer Manoj Kumar files case at Delhi HC; hearing on Tuesday

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Feeling "insulted" after his name was not added to this year’s list of Arjuna awardees, boxer Manoj Kumar filed a petition against Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Arjuna Award committee in Delhi High Court on Monday.

The hearing on the matter is on Tuesday.

Earlier, the pugilist warned the Sports Ministry to sue them for the "injustice" meted out to him.

Though, after Manoj had raised his voice against the selection of controversial recommendation of boxer Jai Bhagwan for the prestigious Arjuna Award, the selection committee reviewed their original 15-athlete list on August 19, but it had decided not to make any changes in the original list.

The Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson, who was part of the Awards committee, had said the panel discussed seven athletes in the review meeting but it was unanimously agreed that no changes were needed.

However, Manoj had told PTI that he had been assured by the sports secretary and Thomson himself that his name would be added in the meeting and their backtracking was a "betrayal".

"When my elder brother met the Sports Secretary on August 13, the Sports Secretary had admitted that there was a mistake on the part of the ministry by mistakenly thinking that I was involved in a dope offence. Mr Ajit Sharan had told my brother that my name will be added in the review meeting," Manoj, who is in the national camp at the NIS had said.

"The SAI DG himself called me up the next day (August 14) that my case will be considered and no injustice would be done to me. He assured me that my name will be added in the Arjuna list. But all these turned out to be false promises and they have backtracked now. I have a trial for the Asian Games next week and I am in severe mental stress," he added.

"First, they tarnished my image by mistakenly calling me a dope offender and then betrayed me by backtracking on what they had promised. It`s an insult and betrayal," a dejected Manoj, who won a gold in 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, said.

Manoj`s elder brother and coach Rajesh Kumar wondered how Thomson can claim that Manoj has time with him and he can get the award later on.

"How can it be? He (Manoj) won a gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and this achievement will not be considered for next year`s Arjuna Award as only four-year achievement is counted. Next year`s Arjuna will start counting achievements from 2011 onwards," he said.

Rajesh also said Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had also assured, through his personal secretary, that the case of Manoj will be addressed and those officials who committed the mistake of taking him as a dope offender will be taken to task.

"The PS also told me that the officials who placed Manoj`s name as a dope offender before the selection panel will also be taken to task. But now it turned out that all these were just talk in the air," he said.

With Agency inputs

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