HC seeks Centre's reply
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked the Centre and the Sports Authority of India to reply to a plea by a differently-abled sports person seeking quashing of a policy which differentiates between medallists of deaf olympics and para olympics events in rewarding them.
Justice Navin Chawla issued notice to ministries of youth affairs and sports and social justice and empowerment as also theI on the petition.
The petition filed by Virender Singh, a differently- abled sports person and four times gold medallist in wrestling freestyle in International Deaflympics, said the central government has formulated policy for rewards and pensions for Sports persons.
The plea said he has been assessed with 100 per cent disability in speaking and hearing by LNJP Hospital.
Singh, who is also an Arjuna awardee, claimed the policy is discriminatory for deaf sports persons with those of Para Olympics category.
The petition, filed through advocate Ajay Verma, sought direction to the authorities to extend the benefit of the policy, including cash prize, and all other schemes formulated for rewarding the medallist of Para-Olympics sports event to Singh and medallists of the Deaf-Olympics events.
It said that in 1986, the Ministry of Sports had introduced a scheme of special awards to the medal winners in International events and their coaches.
The objective of the special awards is to incentivise the achievements of outstanding sports persons, encourage and motivate them for higher achievements and to act as inspiring role models for attracting the younger generation to take up sports, it said.
As per the scheme, the award is given to sports disciplines in Olympics/Asian Games/Commonwealth Games and chess and the medal winners of open category sports are given cash prizes ranging from 30 to 75 lakh at International Olympic Games.
"Similarly, the medal winners of Para Sports Category are also given 75 lakhs in case of winning gold medal, 50 lakhs for silver medal and 30 lakhs for bronze medal at Paralympic Games. "However, in case of deaf sports, blind sports, special olympic-sports the cash award is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 (right to equality) of the Constitution," it said.