HC asks Centre to reply to plea of Arjuna awardee wrestler

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought replies from the Centre and the Wrestling Federation of India on a plea of a former wrestler, an Arjuna awardee, that he be allowed to take part as coach of the women`s team in an international tournament in the US at government expenses.

"Issue notice. You (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sports Authority of India and WFI) take instruction within two days. I am posting it for hearing on Thursday," Justice Manmohan said.

The court, however, made it clear to Kripa Shanker Patel that it will not be able to direct the authorities concerned to allow him to take part in the event as the matter would require hearing and in the meantime, the tournament will end on February 1.

"The tournament has already commenced today and would end on February 1. I cannot help it. I can only see that the injustice, if any, is not done to you in future," Justice Manmohan said.

In his petition, filed through lawyer Mohit Saroha, Patel said officials at SAI and WFI started keeping "grudges" against him as he wrote several letters alleging that women wrestlers at Sonepat camp in Haryana were not being given "nutritious supplements" as mandated by the rules.

It said the WFI, on January 11, had informed SAI that the selection committee cannot replace Patel, who was declared the best wrestler after winning two Gold medals in the Commonwealth Wrestling championship in South Africa in 2005, as he is best available coach for the women`s team.

"SAI though did not replace the name of Patel for the said special training camp and 2014 Dave Schultz International Wrestling Tournament at Colorado Springs US from January 14 to February 1 and allowed to send him as coach but declined financial assistance and asked him bear expenses for the same," the plea said.

Patel sought a direction to the authorities concerned that he be sent to the US as the coach at government expenses.

He has also sought setting aside of the SAI order by which financial assistance was denied to him as the coach.

The former wrestler has also sought a direction to the SAI and its officials that they be restrained from "harassing" and humiliating him.