New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the government to confer Dronacharya Award 2015 on former chief national wrestling coach Vinod Kumar, saying it was "alarming" that the selection committee had not considered the accolades conferred on him.
"It is alarming that the selection committee deciding the awardees of the Dronacharya Awards 2015, has not been given due consideration to the accolades and the affidavits filed on behalf of the petitioner.
"Discrepancy appears on their account which should not be expected from the Committee deciding the awardees for an award of this prestige," a bench of Justice V P Vaish said.
It directed the Centre to include the name of Vinod Kumar in the list of awardees for the Dronacharya Award 2015, which would be presented at a ceremony tomorrow.
The bench rejected the contention of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports that since Kumar has already been given due recognition by way of Dhyan Chand Award in 2012, he was therefore not eligible for the Dronacharya Award.
"This argument does not find favour with this court. I have perused the scheme of Dronacharya Award for Outstanding Coaches in Sports and Games and nowhere it is an embargo that a nominee cannot be considered for an award if he is already been given another award of same magnitude," the judge said.
The bench also reduced the score of Anup Singh who has been recomended for the Dronacharya Award as the affidavit of one of the wrestlers Geetika Jakhar was trained by him.
"I am of the view that the marks accredited to respondent number 4 (Anup Singh), based on the medals of Geetika Jakhar, cannot be added to his score and thus, this court is of the view that 40 points given to him should have been deducted by the concerned selection committee. The respondent number 4's score under no circumstances could have been computed to be 377.5 but rather it should have been 337.5," the bench said.
The bench also pulled up the government for not maintaining the records pertaining to the the nominees of Dronacharya Award 2015 properly.
"At this juncture, it is further relevant to mention the lacklustre attitude displayed by the respondents. This court has received the records pertaining to the nominees of Dronacharya Award 2015. The record has not been maintained properly.
"It is a bunch of loose papers and it doesn't seem to be complete. It is surprising to see the attitude at display on behalf of respondents in connection to such a prestigious award," the court said
The award ceremony is scheduled to be held tomorrow at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
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 the chief national coach in May this year after his performance as mentor was allegedly found to be inadequate during the Doha Asian Championship.