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Shooter Manini Kaushik’s Appeal to Participate in Paris Olympic Trials Dismissed by Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Friday declined to intervene in a single-judge order dismissing a petition by shooter Manini Kaushik, who sought permission to participate in the trials for the upcoming Paris Olympics in the 50m rifle 3 positions women’s category.

A bench led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan declared Kaushik’s appeal against the single judge’s decision as moot since the trials had already concluded.

This is too late in the day. Your prayers are infructuous. This is over,” said the bench, which also included Justice Manmeet P S Arora.

The court emphasized that at this stage, the selected athletes should be allowed to practice and compete, otherwise “India will suffer.”

“The appeal is disposed of as infructuous,” the bench concluded.

The senior counsel for Kaushik argued that she was treated unfairly and that the single judge’s decision was based on incorrect information.

The court noted that the trials were held between April 22 and May 19, and if Kaushik’s exclusion from certain other events was intentional, she should have filed her plea sooner.

On May 15, the single judge had rejected Kaushik’s petition against her exclusion from the trials, stating that the selection criteria were developed by experts and the court could not overrule it when it was reasonable and made in good faith.

Kaushik had contested her exclusion from the Paris Olympic selection trials, arguing that the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) should not have introduced a new selection criterion in 2023, which altered the eligibility requirements.

She argued that under the original criteria, three shooters with national rankings of third, sixth, and seventh, who lacked the requisite Qualification Ranking for the Olympic Games (QROG) points, would have been among the top five candidates for the Olympic selection trials.

The single judge had noted that the 2023 criteria were not being challenged and that there was a valid reason for amending the earlier criteria. The judge also stated that Kaushik had “not been able to make much” of her grievance about not being permitted to go to Rio De Janeiro for the International Shooting Sport Federation Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle. Therefore, the judge was not inclined to interfere with the NRAI’s decision not to select her.

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