The Delhi High Court on Monday sought Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) response on the past performance of certain boxers selected for the Women’s World Boxing Championships to take place in the national capital between March 15-31. A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh was hearing a plea by three boxers Manju Rani, Shiksha Narwal and Poonam Poonia who after not making it to the national team for the championship moved the High Court seeking its intervention for their inclusion.
The counsel for the three boxers said that between 2018-2022, their performance was better than some of those selected for the tournament who hardly won any medals. Justice Singh observed that while the court cannot get into the merit of selection, the difference in the performance of some of the players was “quite stark”. The HC further asked BFI’s counsel to seek instructions on the issue.
The boxer’s counsel argued that player selection should happen on the basis of meritorious past performances and the three boxers should be selected. BFI’s counsel said that the names of selected players have already been sent to the concerned authorities. The matter is next listed on March 14.
On March 7, the HC had asked BFI to submit the evaluation forms of the three boxers, which was submitted before the HC. BFI had previously argued that players had been evaluated and their candidature had been rejected. It was argued earlier that players are evaluated at the national camp on the basis of selection criteria for national camps and world championships. While the HC had previously refused to grant interim relief to the boxers it had said that if in the meantime if a reserved category player is being maintained by the respondent then the petitioner boxers can be considered for the same.
It was previously argued by the boxers that the players who made it to the national team were those who had been defeated by the petitioner boxers at the National Championship in Bhopal last December. The plea states that the petitioners had requested the relevant authorities to consider their names for selection in the women’s world championship, “but they did not get any fruitful results”.