‘Denied’ sports gradation certificate, two women Netball players move Punjab and Haryana HC
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently issued a notice to the Punjab government over petitions filed by two netball players seeking sports gradation certificates.
One of the petitioners, Banita Joshi, contended that she had won the bronze medal in the 37th Senior National Netball Championship 2019-20 (Men and Women). In 2022, she won a silver medal in netball at the 36th National Games organised by the Indian Olympic Association. Thereafter, she approached the Department of Sports for a gradation certificate but her application was turned down.
Another petitioner, Aksh Sharma, contended that she won the silver medal in the 1st Senior National Fast5 Netball Championship (Men and Women) held in 2022-23 in Haryana. She was also not granted a gradation certificate.
The counsel for the petitioners, Ritesh Aggarwal, said the ‘issue in question’ was covered by the high court judgment dated February 15 in the case of ‘Piyusha Modi versus the state of Punjab and others’. The high court was told that the judgment categorically held that denial of a sports gradation certificate to a sportsperson in any discipline could not be the objective of the ‘sports gradation policy’.
The counsel said the gradation certificate was ‘illegally’ denied to the petitioners on the grounds that the ‘Netball Promotion Association (regd)’, under whose banner the petitioners played, was not recognised by the Punjab Olympic Association. He added that the denial was on completely ‘frivolous’ grounds based on a circular dated December 24, 1997, issued by the Punjab Director of Sports. The circular stipulated that a certificate issued by a sports association would be considered for gradation only if it was recognised by the Punjab Olympic Association.
The counsel argued the petitioners could not be denied the benefit under the sports gradation policy, even if the Netball Promotion Association (regd) was not recognised by the Punjab Olympic Association.
Taking up the petitions filed by Joshi and Aksh Sharma, Justice Vinod S Bhardwaj has put the state of Punjab and another respondent on notice for August 31.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a indianexpress.com feed.)
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