New Delhi: Former wrestling coach Vinod Kumar, who was to be considered for the Dronacharya Award 2015 following a Delhi High Court order, will have to wait longer as a larger bench on Saturday ordered further hearing on various "disputed questions" on the issue.
A single judge bench had yesterday directed the Centre to include Kumar in the list of awardees, saying that it was "alarming" that the selection committee had not considered the accolades conferred on him.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini, however, ordered further hearing of the matter saying that "there are various disputed questions of facts which need to be dealt with by the single judge bench."
"In the light of the material available on record, it appears to us that the matter involves various disputed questions of facts and require consideration after giving an opportunity of being heard to all the parties," the bench, also comprising Justice Jayant Nath, said.
It, however, gave a green signal to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to go ahead with the function to confer the prestigious award on the other coach Anup Singh.
The court made it clear that the conferment of the award would be subject to the outcome of the pending litigation.
It said that "the single judge is required to dispose of the matter expeditiously, preferably within six weeks from today without having regard to any of the observations/finding recorded in the order under appeal."
The bench said that although the order challenged by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is interim and the main matter is pending but the direction in the order that petitioner Vinod Kumar be included in the list of awardees amounted to the relief actually sought in his petition.
It also took into the account the statement of Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain that in the event of Vinod Kumar succeding in his case, the Sports Ministry will take appropriate steps in terms of the order that may be passed in his, including the conferment of the award.
The court's direction came on the plea filed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports challenging a single judge's order.
The Ministry had sought an urgent hearing as the award ceremony was scheduled for today.
The order of the single judge bench was, however, silent on the aspect of whether or not Anup Singh should be given the award but had reduced his score from 377.5 to 337.5, saying he cannot be given points based on the medals of another wrestler Geetika Jakhar claimed by both the coaches.
Kumar, who was the chief national men's team coach from November 2010 to April 2015, had claimed that he had earned more points for his achievements of his wards at international tournaments than Anup Singh.
Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had sacked Vinod as chief national coach in May this year after his performance as mentor was allegedly found to be inadequate during the Doha Asian Championship.