Asian Games 2023: Boxers’ Petitions to Hold Selection Trials Dismissed

In an order dated September 20, 2023, the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed the petitions filed by boxers, Amit Panghal, Rohit Mor, and Sagar Ahlawat challenging the evaluation process of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) for selection to the Asian Games squad. The plea was dismissed since there was no time to conduct selection trials.[1]

After finishing second in their respective weight categories in the evaluation carried out over a period of three weeks, the petitioners were not selected to be part of the India Team for the Asian Games in July. In the petitioners’ weight categories, Deepak Bhoria, Sachin Siwach, and Narender Berwal respectively came in first and hence, made it to the Indian boxing team.

Thereafter, the petitioners approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It was contended that the sportspersons have to be selected to represent the country in international events through selection trials, which do not form part of the BFI’s evaluation process.

The federation responded to the petitioners’ contentions by stating that the evaluation process was in line with the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, and was “fair and transparent”. Further, it was argued that a “comprehensive briefing” was provided to the athletes on the selection criteria and no challenge was raised by the petitioners before participating in the evaluation process.

The petitioners, who are also reserve athletes, are currently in China, where boxing at the ongoing Asian Games will be hosted until October 5 at Hangzhou Gymnasium.

[1] i) Amit and Ors v. Union of India and Ors. (CWP 14491/2023)

ii) Sagar v. Union of India and Ors. (CWP 14802/2023)