The Delhi High Court today said “individuals may suffer” but the country has to be placed on a “higher pedestal” and left it to Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to decide on India’s challenge in 74 kg men’s freestyle at the Rio Olympics, a bone of contention between wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Pancham Yadav.
The court’s observation came amidst allegations by the WFI counsel that two time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar had been approaching the Prime Minister and media for getting Olympic berth even as Narsingh Pancham Yadav had won a medal in world wrestling championship in 74 kg freestyle category.
When Sushil’s counsel pressed for a direction to WFI for conducting the trial in first week of June, Justice Manmohan said, “The Indian cause will suffer. We cannot do this at this stage. Indian cause has to be placed on a higher pedestal.
Individuals may suffer but the country has to be placed higher.”
“He (WFI counsel) is pointing out relevant facts. They (WFI) are the people who will have to take decision. I will only interfere as a last resort. You cannot deny the fact that one of them (Yadav) has given India a place in the Olympics,” the court said.
The court, which directed WFI to give a hearing to Sushil, also told his advocate, “you both (Sushil and Yadav) are equally placed. How can I decide this? They (WFI) are the experts. Let them decide first. I cannot interfere in this.”
During the hearing, WFI’s counsel told the court, “he (Sushil) is going to the Prime Minister and the media.”
To this, Sushil’s counsel said, “I am going because I am not getting any response from the federation.”
At the fag end of hearing, the court asked WFI to sort out the issue and observed, “I think everyone needs to focus on the training aspect. You cannot have such disputes. How these athletes will concentrate.”
The court was hearing the plea filed by Sushil in which he has sought a direction to WFI to conduct a selection trial to decide who will represent India in the category at Rio Games.
( Source – PTI )