Include Chitra in Indian squad: HC

Include Chitra in Indian squad: HC

The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the central government and Athletic Federation of India (AFI) to ensure participation of PU Chitra at the World Athletics Championships in London next month.

Justice PB Suresh Kumar, in an interim order, directed the Government, AFI and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to make all arrangements to ensure that Chitra participates in the 1,500-metres race at the IAAF World Championships.

The court also observed that the selection process for the championship appears to be not transparent and qualified athletes were ignored.

The material on record disclosed that the petitioner has been sidelined and discriminated, it observed.

Opportunities of the instant nature would come in the way of an athlete only once in a lifetime and if they miss the chance they may not get it again, it said.

“It is seen that many persons who are nowhere close to the standards fixed for the IAAF world championship have been included in the Indian team,” the court said.
Meanwhile. Athletics Federation of India reacted cautiously to the High Court order.

Athletics officials said that it will be impossible for the AFI to include Chitra in the Indian contingent as the entry of athletes for the global flagship event has been closed.

AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said that the lawyers representing the federation have not presented their argument so far.

“The honourable Kerala High Court has passed an order. But we have not filed any reply so far, our lawyers are yet to present their arguments in the case. We got the petition (filed by Chitra) at 4pm last evening and some pages were not very clear,” Sumariwalla said.

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