Delhi HC dismisses shooter Manini Kaushik's plea over non-selection for Paris Olympics trials

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Manini Kaushik

Manini Kaushik

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition by shooter Manini Kaushik to allow her to participate in the trials for the upcoming Paris Olympics in 50m rifle 3 position women category.


Justice Subramonium Prasad said the selection criteria was evolved by the experts and the court cannot sit in appeal over it when it is reasonable and has been set in good faith.

"This court is of the opinion that the selection has been done in the best interest of the country and as per the norms which have been made applicable to all the sportspersons across the country. Nothing has been shown to his Court that the petitioner has been deliberately omitted or that there has been any favoritism to select any sportsperson," Justice Prasad said in an order passed on May 15.

The petitioner had challenged her exclusion from the Paris Olympic selection trials on the ground that the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) ought not to have brought out a new selection criterion in 2023 to alter the eligibility.


Had the original criterion been followed, three shooters having national rankings third, sixth and seventh, who do not have the requisite Qualification Ranking for the Olympic Games (QROG) points, would have been eliminated, and the petitioner would have come within the top five successful candidates for Olympic selection trials, it was argued.

The court observed that the 2023 criteria was not under challenge and there was a valid rationale behind amending the earlier criteria.

It added that the petitioner has "not been able to make much" of her grievance that she was not been permitted to go to Rio De Janeiro to participate in the International Shooting Sport Federation Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle and it was, therefore, not inclined to interfere with the decision taken by the NRAI in not selecting the petitioner.


"The selection criteria has been evolved by the experts in the field. The rationale behind changing the selection criteria was to ensure that a greater number of participants are given opportunity to be eligible to participate in the selection trials as the endeavour has always been to select the best amongst a large pool of players.

The 2023 criteria has been arrived at in good faith and the argument of the petitioner that the rules of the game have been changed after the game has begun cannot be accepted on two counts, namely, i. The criteria is not perverse; ii. The criteria itself is not under challenge," the court said.

Accordingly, the court dismissed the writ petition along with the pending applications, if any.

On April 22, the court had said the selection process of the trials, which were held in that month, for the upcoming Paris Olympics would be subject to the outcome of Kaushik's petition.