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AP High Court asks sports ministry to act on Jyothi Surekha Vennam's Khel Ratna petition

Published at :January 7, 2024 at 11:54 PM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 11:33 AM
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(Courtesy : World Archery)

Ajay Gandhar

The decorated archer had a remarkable year but was not nominated for any award.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has asked the Union Ministry of Sports to review the application of ace archer Jyothi Surekha Vennam for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award, the country’s highest sporting honor.

Jyothi Surekha, who won three gold medals in the compound archery events at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, had filed a petition in the high court challenging the selection process of the award committee, which had nominated badminton men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty for the award over her.

Jyothi Surekha’s counsel U Sravan Kumar argued that his client had secured 148.74 points, the highest among all the applicants, as per the sports ministry’s criteria for the award, while Satwik and Chirag had only 58 points. He said that the award committee had ignored the achievements of Jyothi Surekha, who had also won a gold medal at the Archery World Championships 2023, five golds, and a bronze at the World Cup 2023.

He said that Jyothi Surekha, who is an Arjuna Awardee, was not alleging any malpractices but was unhappy with the selection process. He also said that the sports minister had the authority to relax any relevant clause in the scheme. He said that he had made a representation to the sports ministry on December 14, 2023.

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Justice Jayasurya observed that Jyothi Surekha’s plea needed to be examined and that she had the right to make a plea. He also passed an interim order for necessary action to be taken by the sports minister on the representation made by the petitioner. The next hearing of the case has been adjourned to February 5.

Jyothi Surekha, who is currently ranked world No. 3 in women’s compound archery, is one of the most decorated archers in India. She is the first Indian archer to win multiple gold medals at the Asian Games in archery.

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