The Delhi Supreme Court has announced a complaint filed by boxer Arundhati Choudhary for not being selected for the upcoming women’s boxing world championship, which is due to take place in Istanbul from December 4th to 18th.
Justice Rekha Palli asked the Boxer Federation of India (BFI) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to respond to the plea alleging that Lovlina Borgohain, an Olympic bronze winner, was selected for the championship instead.
Choudhary, who claimed to be an international boxing champion, had reached out to the court to request an instruction for the defendants to consider their candidacy in the 70kg category for the event.
Choudhary’s lawyer argued that given her excellent record of holding a gold medal in the recent women’s championship in Hisar, she should have been preferred to any other player.
On the other hand, BFI attorney Hrishikesh Baruah claimed that Choudhary was indeed registered as a reserved boxer for the championship.
He also argued that if Choudhary had been harmed by the election of Lovlina, she should have pleaded with her as a party defendant.
After establishing the merits of the aforementioned submissions and including them, the court was of the opinion that it was not inclined to issue interim measures.
The court gave the defendants one week to file the affidavit on the matter, while three days were allowed to file the rejoinder.
During the hearing, the Court expressed its dissatisfaction with the way various sports federations operated and the regular cases that various players had recently brought to the Court, and highlighted their complaints.
“The more I hear these things, the more I feel like they won’t hear the player until the players bow in front of them. I see that every day.” Judge Palli told lawyer Apoorv Kurup, who represented the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The court asked the ministry to take action on the matter, saying it appeared that most sports federations were treating themselves as “private clubs” which was an unfortunate situation.
“They should promote the sport. The ministry has to wake up.” She added.
While Kurup said the current matter was a matter solely between the Federation and the player, Judge Palli said:
“This stand in itself shows how carefree it can be. You have to show a little initiative. We did this Olympic Games so well. We can do it much better. I don’t want an athlete to feel like I’m better, but I am not. ” selected.”
The matter will now be dealt with on November 22nd.
In a public statement by the BFI today it says:
“Since only one entry could be sent in each weight class BFI made a conscious decision for the World Cup in its EC session and thereafter in its selection Committee meeting for the one-time exception of Ms. Lovlina selected for world championships directly in their weight Category. This decision was made against the background that There was very little gap between the Olympics and the elite Women’s championships that took place in hisar. Mrs. Lovlina also needed time to recover after the Tokyo Olympics. she was also world No. 3 in this weight class. BFI represented by Adv Hrishikesh Baruah and Parth Goswami informed the Honb’le Court that the said BFI communicated back to all regional associations by email on 10/4/21, much before the championship in Hisar began. BFI has nothing against the petitioner and actually has Taking her name as reserve player for the world Championships. The decision to accept Mrs. Lovlina is in the national interest in view of its outstanding bronze Medalist at Tokyo 2020. “
Case title: ARUNHATI CHOUDHARY v BOXING FEDERATION OF INDIA & ORS.