New Delhi: A ten-pin bowling player has moved Delhi High Court seeking direction to the government to nominate him for this year's Arjuna Awards, scheduled to be given later this month.
The bench of Justice V P Vaish sought the government's response on the plea of Shaik Abdul Hameed who claimed to be first Indian to win international Gold and Silver medals in ten-pin bowling game. "When were awards announced? Why have you come so late and what purpose it will serve, if the plea is decided after the ceremony," the bench asked the counsel for the petitioner. Ten-pin bowling is sport in which a player ('bowler') rolls a ball down a wooden or synthetic lane to score points by knocking down as many pins as possible.
Advocate Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi appearing for the player said he has been consistently performing excellent in the game in national and international events but has not been considered for this year's Arjuna Award, which has been scheduled to be given on August 29. She argued that the High Court had last year in an order had accepted that there was no application of mind on part of the government in the context of petitioner for not considering him for Arjun Award 2014 and since the ceremony was over, no relief was granted.
"This year also you have come so late. Your petition is likely to meet the same fate as of last year," the bench said. The player's counsel contended that the Ten-Pin Bowling Federation of India has recommended his name in 2005 and 2012 for the prestigious Arjuna Awards, which was denied by the government. The counsel for the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry contended that Arjuna Award was conferred largely on merits and that a player should have got a medal in six internationally acclaimed games in the last four year.
The bench however asked the centre to file reply and posted the matter for September 7. In his petition, Hameed has claimed that his performance has been consistent since 2002 and has been felicitated with special awards, including one along with Lt Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. He also said he had won gold and silver medals in the singles and masters games at the commonwealth championships held at Scotland, 2002, for which he had been felicitated by the Andhra Pradesh government also.