Delhi High Court issued notice to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and others on a petition filed by Arundhati Choudhary. She is seeking trial against Lovlina Borgohain to represent India in the 70kg division at the Women’s World Boxing Championship in Turkey.
The court has also asked the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYAS) to ensure fairness in the selection of athletes for the competition.
“The court has asked the sports ministry why an athlete have to come to the court for justice in such cases and has asked it to take necessary measures to select the best boxer for the world championships,” Arundhati Choudhary’s uncle Rajnarayan told Sportkeeda.
Sandeep Lamba, Arundhati’s lawyer, added that the court has also questioned BFI’s selection policy for the world championships.
“If Lovlina has won a medal at the Olympics, Arundhati has also won gold at the youth world championship. So, the selection policy adopted by BFI’s executive committee is not clear. Court questioned BFI and SAI over it too,” Sandeep Lamba said.
In its argument, the BFI said Arundhati Choudhary was named as a reserve but since only one can represent at the marquee event they picked Lovlina Borgohain.
However, Lamba said this is the first time the list has come to light.
“They gave court a list of boxers and said they have put Arundhati Choudhary in the reserve. But when she had put in a request for the trial, there was no such list or she was never informed of anything like this,” Rajnarayan said.
The court has asked BFI and other respondents (SAI and Sports Ministry) for a reply by November 22 to ensure the best athlete goes to Turkey.
Arundhati Choudhary has also put in a request to summon Lovlina as well in the next hearing.
“Since her name is also there now, we have requested the court to call her in the next hearing,” Sandeep Lamba, Arundhati’s advocate told Sportskeeda.
What is Arundhati Choudhary vs BFI?
Arundhati Choudhary, the reigning youth world champion, on November 4 requested BFI for a trial against Lovlina Borgohain for the worlds.
The Assamese boxer was given exception after her performance in Tokyo. The remaining 11 weight categories will be represented by the national title holders.
Arundhati Choudhary claimed that BFI president Ajay Singh had assured her of the trial against Lovlina if she wins the nationals in Hisar, held last month.
However, with the BFI denying her a shot at selection she moved the Delhi HC. The 20-year-old has alleged that the federation stopped responding to her calls and messages after she put out an open letter requesting trials.
The national champion also claimed that she got to know about the selection procedure after winning the state championship.
However, a BFI official reportedly said all the boxers knew the policy. Officials from Rajasthan's boxing committee were also present during the executive meeting and no one objected at the time.
The next hearing will be on November 22.