Karnataka High Court stays Sania Mirza's Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday stayed the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award that was given to Sania Mirza following a plea from Paralympian Girisha Nagarajgowda, Firstsports reports.
The 27-year-old had expressed disappointment over him being ignored for India’s highest sporting honour and had filed a petition over the issue with the court
"I understand Sania has won Grand Slam titles but according to the ministry notification, only performances at the Olympics, Paralympics, Asiad, Commonwealth Games and World Championships from 2011 will be considered," Girisha said in an interview.
“Going by the ministry's performance-based points system introduced to pick the award winner, I'm the top contender with 90 points. But Sania does not figure anywhere near the top," he added.
Girisha won a silver medal for India at the 2012 London Olympics in the Men’s high jump category and was awarded the Arjuna award in 2014. He is also a recipient of the Padma Shri.
Sania has had a fine 2015, so far, where she has reached the numero uno ranking with Martina Hingis in the Women’s doubles and then won the 2015 Wimbledon title along with Hingis.
She is also only the second tennis player after Leander Paes to be given the award. Paes was bestowed with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1996 after he won a bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Along with the Khel Ratna, the Dronacharaya award, Dhyan Chand award, the Arjuna award and the Rashtriya Khel Prosthana Puraskhar will also be handed on August 29th , which is celebrated as National Spots Day by the President of India.
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna was first constituted in 1991-92 with Viswanathan Anand the first recipient of the recognition. Only 2 cricketers have ever got the award- Sachin Tendulkar in 1997 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2009.