Karnataka High Court stay doesn’t stop Govt from awarding Khel Ratna to Sania Mirza
Despite the stay imposed by the Karnataka High Court, tennis star Sania Mirza was awarded highest sports award Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee in a glittering ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 29 August 2015.
Sania Mirza is currently the world number 1 player in the women doubles tennis.
How is Khel Ratna awarded
Writ Petition by paralympian HN Girisha
|Case No.||Writ Petition (C) No. 36266 of 2015|
The Writ Petition seeking stay on the award of Khel Ratna on Sania Mirza was filed by Hosanagara Nagarajegowda Girisha, a paralympic high jumper who had jumped a height of 1.74m in the final of the 2012 Summer Paralympics Men’s High Jump, to finish in the silver medal position in the competition. He become the first Indian to win a medal at that event. A Padhma Shri and Arjuna Award recipient Girisha said:
“I deserve to win the top award given to sportspersons. I am a top contender as I garnered 90 points as against Sania, who is not anywhere near in top contenders’ list. The award is given to sportspersons based on the performance-based points system”
“I understand Sania has won Grand Slam titles but according to ministry notification, only performances at the Olympics, Paralympics, Asiad, Commonwealth Games and World Championships from 2011 will be considered,” [Indian Express]
Girisha claimed that though Mirza has won Grand Slam titles but according to the ministry notification, only performances at the Olympics, Paralympics, Asiad, Commonwealth Games and World Championships from 2011 can be considered. Girisha alleged that his application was not even discussed during the selection meeting.
Karnataka High Court stays the award
Girisha’s petition was listed before Justice A S Bopanna on 26 August 2015 who issued notice to the Respondents and sought their reply within 15 days as to why Girisha’s name was overlooked in favour of Mirza, considering the points system being implemented by the Ministry.
Government says stay won’t stop the awards
DNA reported that Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said that it had decided to go ahead with it’s original decision. It quoted a senior official:
The ministry will not make any last-minute changes to the awards list. Sania will get the Khel Ratna as per the awards committee’s recommendation. The decision is final.
Ministry official further said that the ministry had received the court notice on 27 August 2015 and it will be filing its reply within the stipulated 15 days after going through the contents of it and will explain out everything to the court.
After the awards, Mirza flew to New York for the US Open. A happy Mirza tweeted:
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) August 29, 2015
Image via PIB
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