HC discover to sports activities dept, principal secy on handball coach’s plea

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court has stayed the order passed by Haryana sports department principal secretary restraining handball coach from joining as the chief coach of Indian women’s handball team and relieving him from re-employment service.
HC has also issued notice to the sports department principal secretary Ashok Khemka to respond by May 3. “The petitioner has approached this court for quashing of this order, which has been passed in a cavalier fashion and that too arbitrarily. In the meantime, operation of the impugned order passed on March 8 shall remain stayed till further orders,” observed Justice . The matter was heard on March 15 but the order was released on Monday.

The matter reached the HC in the wake of a petition filed by Jugminder. The petitioner had joined the department as handball coach in 1983 and retired on May 31, 2017, from the deputy director’s post. He was, however, again re-employed by the department in December 2017 for one year.

Jugminder was recently designated as the chief coach of Indian women’s handball team by the (), apex body for the sport in the country.

A team of women handball players is scheduled to participate in the South Asian Woman Handball Championship to be held at Lucknow from March 31 to April 3, followed by participation in the Asian Games to be held in August.

The squad representing team India at the South Asian Woman Handball Championship, comprises five players from Haryana, amongst whom the petitioner had trained four players.

On March 3, the petitioner requested the department to allow him to participate in the coaching camp. He had also produced the February 25 letter of the HFI appointing him coach and informing that the entire expenses would be borne by the federation.

According to the petitioner, he was sanguine that his request would be considered in light of the fact that the International championship was indeed a prestigious competition. However, contrary to the belief of the petitioner, principal secretary of the department passed an order on March 8 declaring him “unfit” and rejected his request to attend the camp. He was also relived from the services.

Jugminder has requested the HC to quash the orders, whereby he was relieved with a punitive and stigmatic order. “On one hand, the petitioner has been called upon for national duties, while on the other hand the employer of the petitioner is discouraging the efforts of the petitioner and is not allowing him to contribute to the national cause. The action of principal secretary of the department smacks mala fide and is in fact a reflection of an approach which is not in the interest of sportsmen as well as the country,” argued the petitioner.

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