New Delhi: Delhi High Court has sought the response of Boxing India, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and boxer Laisram Sarita Devi on a plea challenging her suspension by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusing to accept the bronze medal at the Asian Games in South Korea.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notice to the boxer and two sports bodies and sought their replies after the petitioner, a lawyer, submitted there is a provision under the Olympic Charter which provides for an appeal against its decision before Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"The additional affidavit dated January 9 filed on behalf of the petitioner is taken on record. The standing counsel appearing for Union of India - respondent 1 (IOA) undertakes to file the counter affidavit within four weeks.
"Issue notice to respondent 1 (IOA), 3 (Boxing India) and 5 (Sarita Devi), returnable on April 15, 2015," the bench said after perusing the affidavit filed by the petitioner, senior advocate Rajiv Dutta.
Sarita, who had refused to accept the medal to protest against her controversial semifinal bout loss, has been banned retrospectively from Oct one last year to Oct one this year and fined 1000 Swiss Francs.
The affidavit, filed through advocate Siddharth Dutta, has stated that AIBA statute recognises the jurisdiction of CAS in relation to any dispute covered by rules of the Olympic Charter and provides that any dispute in connection with Olympic Games will be exclusively dealt with by CAS.
"Rule 59 (now Rule 61) is equally applicable to the conduct of the Asian Games, and therefore, decisions of the AIBA judicial authorities passed pursuant to Article 59.1(b) of the Procedural Rules are inherently capable of being referred in appeal to CAS," the affidavit has said.
Article 59.1 (b) states that final decisions of the AIBA judicial authorities relating to a dispute are subject to an appeal to the CAS.
The submission comes in the wake of Boxing India's contention on January 5 that no appeal lies against AIBA's decision.
Dutta, in his affidavit, also contended that rules and
regulations of Boxing India itself recognise the right to prefer appeals in relation to disputes covered under Rule 61 of the Olympic Charter.
"Therefore, against decision of the Disciplinary Authority of respondent 4 (AIBA), respondent 3 (Boxing India) would be the competent authority to prefer appeals before the CAS," the petitioner has said and added that the January 5 statement made by Boxing India is "misleading".
Earlier, the Centre had told the High Court that it has written to AIBA requesting it to revoke the suspension of Devi.
The Sports Ministry, in its letter to AIBA, had requested it to take a lenient view and not take any further action against her, saying she comes from a humble background and has risen very high in her sport due to her hard work. Her suspension would have a demoralising effect on other aspiring sportspersons.
The Ministry's submission had come after filing of the petition which has sought a direction to the government to take due cognizance of the rules and regulations framed by CAS for settling disputes.
The petition has sought a direction to the Centre to exercise its inherent power to ask the respective local federations and associations to incorporate CAS Arbitration Clause within their respective rules.
The plea has alleged that there is absolutely no clarity on resolution of disputes in the event that an international body like International Boxing Association takes any coercive action against individual sportspersons, as has occurred in the case.