NEW DELHI: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it will include the name of Tejaswin Shankar, a high jumper, in the list of players who are part of the Indian contingent for the upcoming 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Justice Yashwant Varma, who was hearing a petition by the sportsman against his exclusion from the team of selected players for the sporting event, directed the AFI to forthwith transmit his name to the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) for further action and said that the court expected both AFI and IOA to proceed further while keeping in mind the prescribed timelines.
The AFI lawyer informed the court that there was a vacancy as one of the athletes, who were part of the Indian contingent for the relay event, was disqualified and therefore the petitioner’s name shall now be forwarded in his place.
The Commonwealth Games (CWG) is scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.
“Mr (Hrishikesh) Baruah, learned counsel appearing for AFI, has, on instructions, apprised the court that Arokia Rajiv, an athlete who was part of the four by four hundred relay team, has come to be disqualified in trials which were held,” the court recorded in the order.
“He accordingly submits that in view of the resultant vacancy which has occurred, the petitioner’s name shall be included and forwarded forthwith amongst the list of athletes part of the Indian contingent for the upcoming CWG,” it further noted.
“The statement so made is recorded and accepted. Let AFI consequently and forthwith transmit all particulars to IOAwhich may take further consequential steps,” it said.
The court further said that it would keep the petition pending to examine the issues raised in it so that “this national embarrassment does not happen again”.
“Having heard learned counsels for parties at some length yesterday and taking into account the material which had been placed for its perusal, the court finds that the issues which are raised in the writ petition including the question of selections being made in accordance with the standards prescribed by AFI or the CWG, the right of athletes training or competing overseas at the time of trials being conducted in the country, the procedure for exemption would merit further consideration so that disputes like the present which was faced by the petitioner athlete do not recur,” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on August 25.
The court asked that the statistics and relevant standards argued by the petitioner be placed on record by way of an affidavit and also granted an opportunity to AFI as well as IOA to file any affidavits that they may deem necessary.
The court shall outline the issues which merit consideration after hearing parties on the next occasion, it said.
Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, appearing for the petitioner, said that since the team leaves for the event on Thursday, all necessary formalities concerning the petitioner’s inclusion should be completed during the day.
The petitioner had moved the high court last month against his exclusion.
Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Sankaranarayanan had earlier submitted that the petitioner was wrongly excluded despite being the national high jump record holder (2.29m) and being the only Indian to have met the AFI qualification standard and won a gold medal at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Track and Field Outdoor Championship 2022 in Eugene, Oregon in the US.
It was also submitted that the petitioner had sought exemption from interstate championships as they clashed with the NCAA championship and had informed the chief national coach through a message on WhatsApp.


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