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No interim relief, Delhi HC asks boxing body to submit evaluation report


The Delhi high court asked the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Tuesday to place before it the evaluation forms of national champions Manju Rani, Shiksha Narwal and Poonam Poonia following their petition challenging their omission from the squad for the Women’s World Boxing Championships starting here on March 15.

Justice Prathiba M Singh, while refusing to grant any interim relief to the boxers, said in the meantime, if a reserved category is being maintained by the respondents, the petitioners should be considered for that.

“The professional boxer has evaluated all of you, I cannot interfere in this. Let the evaluation forms be produced on Monday,” the court said in an oral order.

The counsel for the boxers, Sandeep Lamba, argued that all three were national champions and in the other nine categories national champions have been selected.

At the hearing, BFI’s advocates Hrishikesh Baruah and Parth Goswami said winning gold in nationals is a qualifying criterion, adding that the boxers are then evaluated at the national camp on the basis of selection criteria for national camps and world championships 2023.

According to BFI, the new selection policy for the men’s and women’s world championships and the Asian Games was followed to pick the national team and Manju (48kg), Shiksha (54kg) and Poonam (60kg) could not make it to the 12-member side.

According to the new policy, drafted in consultation with High Performance Director (HPD) Bernard Dunne, the boxers underwent a three-week evaluation process in which they were assessed on various parameters.

Nine of the 12 national champions were ranked one and qualified for the marquee event.

Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghangas (634 points), Preeti (623) and CWG bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (612) finished ahead of Manju (564), Shiksha (573) and Poonam (567) in the evaluation test.

The BFI counsels informed the court that the national body followed its selection policy, which is published on its website. “The selection was done without bias and the team was selected after carefully evaluating players over the weeks at the national camp.”

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