38.6c New Delhi, India, Friday, May 24, 2024

Paralympic athlete's application for license renewal raises questions on condition of Paralympic sports administration in India

By Shreya Agarwal      19 April, 2024 06:06 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: A plea by a female paralympic athlete seeking renewal of her International Paralympic Committee (IPC) license card to enable participation in the Paris Paralympics Grand Prix 2024, has raised questions on the plight of paralympic sports, and the condition of paralympic sports administration in India.

Appearing before a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, Jeetu Kanwar through Advocate Arundhati Katju stated that the renewal of her IPC license which would enable her to participate in the Paris Paralympics 2024 is already complete, but the same is being deliberately withheld by the National Paralympics Committee (NPC) for the sole purpose of harassing her. 

She moved Court challenging an earlier order of the Delhi High Court itself which directed the NPC to decide her application in 4 weeks, stating that the relief was not sufficient.

The Case

Katju informed Court that Kanwar is a “stellar para-athlete and an exceptional scholar, who was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy from birth which affected her limbs, face and torso”. 

Kanwar claimed to have represented India in the IWAS World Games 2022 in Portugal in the 100 meter event T-35 category, where she got the sixth rank in 2022 in the Asian rankings maintained by IPC.

Katju said that Kanwar has also been a licensed IPC athlete holding a valid license card from the Season of 2018 until the Season of 2023, however since February 14, 2024, NPC had been sitting on her renewed license and not issuing the PDF copy to her.

This prejudiced her participation in the Paris Paralympics 2024, Katju argued, as she had already missed out on having her rankings and results considered in one qualifier event held in Bengaluru in March 2024, owing to the delay in issuance of the renewed license.

She further stated that due to the non-issuance of the IPC license card, Kanwar is not able to participate in the other upcoming qualifier and classification review competitions as well.

With the last entry date for Paris 2024 Grand Prix being May 31, 2024, Katju argued that even if her IPC license is issued after four weeks (from April 16, 2024) as directed by an earlier order of the Delhi High Court, Kanwar will still be ousted from participating in the Paris Paralympics 2024 by virtue of her missing the qualifier competitions.

Therefore, she challenged the earlier order.

She further pressed that “the renewal of the IPC license is a ministerial act to be carried out” and “no “decision” is to be taken or discretion is required to be exercised in this regard, i.e. as soon as the requisite fees has been paid, all that is required to do be done is to update the portal to which the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) has sole access, download a PDF copy of the IPC license card and thereafter, share it with the athlete.”

In light of the urgency, the division bench disposed of Kanwar’s appeal by modifying the direction of the learned Single Judge and directing the NPC to take a decision on the matter within a week, i.e. by April 23, 2024.

Sports Ministry's suspension of the Paralympic Committee of India in February

It is important to mention here that in February itself, calling the delay in holding its elections as “willful and intentional”, the Sports Ministry had suspended the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) citing violation of the national sports code and misgovernance, according to news reports.

The Ministry had also informed the IPC about the derecognition of the PCI and formation of an ad-hoc body, composed of distinguished administrators and sportspersons to administer paralympic sports affairs as the PCI also served as the NPC for some disciplines.

In its suspension letter, the Ministry had written, “…whereas taking note of the intentional delay by the PCI to elect a new executive committee, vis a vis the essentiality of upholding good governance and accountability standards in sports federations nationwide and the requirements of all the national sports federations, National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Paralympic Committee (NPC) to adhere strictly to the sports code, the government is left with no choice but to suspend the recognition of PCI with immediate effect till further orders.”

The Ministry had then directed the Sports Authority of India (SAI) “to coordinate with the IPC to form an ad-hoc committee comprising eminent administrators and sportspersons to undertake these tasks performed by PCI to safeguard the interests of the Indian para-sportspersons and the para-sports disciplines, who will oversee the operations of the PCI”. 

However, Kanwar’s case - which deals with a license renewal application from February itself, raises questions as to whether the woes of Indian para-sportspersons have indeed been addressed and their rights and interests safeguarded even with the new ad-hoc Paralympic Committee in place.

The petitioner was represented by Ms. Arundhati Katju with Mr. Govind Manoharan, Ms. Samiksha Godiyal, Mr. Nishchiy Sharma, Ms. Snigdha Ganguly, Ms. Shristi Borthakur, Ms. Ritika Meena and Ms. Parkhi Rai, Advocates.

The respondent was represented by Mr. Vedansh Anand, Advocate for Union of India.

Cause Title: Jeetu Kanwar v Union of India & Ors.

Share this article:


A wanderer, aspiring yogini and writer. Shreya is a lawyer by profession, journalist by passion. A g...Read more


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Watching porn on mobile: Kerala HC highlights importance of mother cooked meals, outdoor sports [Read Order] Watching porn on mobile: Kerala HC highlights importance of mother cooked meals, outdoor sports [Read Order]

Kerala High Court emphasizes the importance of outdoor sports, home-cooked meals, and parental supervision, discouraging the gifting of mobile phones to minors. Learn why the court quashed a case related to private porn viewing and the need for responsible parenting.

DHCBA proposes Cricket tournament for Bar members DHCBA proposes Cricket tournament for Bar members

After an in-house Table Tennis Tournament, the Delhi High Court Bar Association has proposed to organize a cricket tournament for its members. Christened the D.H.C.B.A Premium League, it will take place between January - March 2024. Read more to know how you can participate.

Paralympic athlete's application for license renewal raises questions on condition of Paralympic sports administration in India Paralympic athlete's application for license renewal raises questions on condition of Paralympic sports administration in India

Female paralympic athlete Jeetu Kanwar's application for license renewal has raised questions on the condition of paralympic sportspersons and paralympic sports administration in India.


Trending Judiciary
No legal mandate for uploading of Form 17C on website or handing over to anyone other than candidate or agent, EC tells SC

EC tells SC there's no legal mandate to upload Form 17C on websites or provide it to anyone other than candidates or agents, citing risks of misuse and mistrust.

23 May, 2024 11:28 AM
Trending Judiciary
'National security always paramount,' SC cancels bail of PFI members [Read Judgment]

SC emphasizes national security, cancels bail of eight PFI members, stressing balance between civil liberties and counter-terrorism under UAPA.

23 May, 2024 12:05 PM


Trending Judiciary
SC notice to EC on plea by ADR for release of voters turnout data

SC issues notice to EC on ADR plea to release voter turnout data. SC demands EC to disclose vote counts within 48 hours after each phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

18 May, 2024 11:16 AM
Trending Judiciary
Recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on transfer of money, ED claims before SC

ED claims to have recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on money transfer in Delhi liquor policy scam; SC reserves judgement on arrest appeal.

18 May, 2024 11:47 AM
Trending CelebStreet
Delhi HC refuses Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for using "Thug Life" in video on Shroff

The Delhi High Court has refused Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for alleged personality rights' infringement.

18 May, 2024 05:20 PM
Trending Judiciary
Abuse under SC/ST Act has to be in public view to make out offence: SC [Read Judgment]

SC rules abuse under SC/ST Act must be in public view. Case involves Olympic Riding and Equestrian Academy, highlighting key requirements for the offence.

18 May, 2024 05:45 PM


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email