Asian Games training:Delhi High Court Upholds Removal of Kabaddi Team Coach Amidst Harassment Allegations for Asian Games Preparation

Asian Games Delhi High Court Backs SAI’s Removal of Ashan Kumar as Indian Kabaddi Team Chief Coach for Asian Games Prep

In a recent development, the Delhi High Court has upheld the decision by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to remove Ashan Kumar from his position as the chief coach of the Indian Kabaddi Team. This decision came during the national coaching camp held to prepare for the upcoming Asian Games in 2023. The court’s verdict, delivered by Justice Subramonium Prasad, deemed the removal lawful and justified, with no procedural irregularities.

Ashan Kumar’s Removal: Serious Sexual Harassment Allegations and Legal Action Unfold

The grounds for Ashan Kumar’s removal revolved around serious allegations of sexual harassment. These allegations fall under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 354-A, 354-D, and 506, as well as Section 12 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. Justice Prasad, in his judgment on September 26, noted the gravity of these charges and decided not to intervene in the authorities’ decision.

Ashan Kumar, an Arjuna Awardee, had been selected to coach the Indian Kabaddi Team (boys) for the 2023 Asian Games. However, on September 4, 2023, an FIR was filed against him by a girl, accusing him of harassment. This incident led to the initiation of legal proceedings against him.

Legal Proceedings and Coaching Suspension: Ashan Kumar’s Case in the Spotlight

It’s important to mention that while the police did file a closure report, the matter was referred to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) on September 17, 2023. The ICC’s report is still pending, and in the interim, on September 23, 2023, Ashan Kumar was relieved from his position as chief coach during the ongoing National Coaching Camp.

The counsel representing Ashan Kumar argued that he was the chief coach of the men’s Kabaddi team and had no involvement with the women’s Kabaddi team. Furthermore, the complainant herself, along with her father, provided affidavits stating that the complaint was filed due to a misunderstanding. Additionally, the police’s closure report supported the notion that there might not be a strong case against Ashan Kumar.

Despite these arguments, the high court maintained that the decision to refer the case to the ICC and the subsequent removal of Ashan Kumar from his coaching position were valid actions.

In conclusion, the Delhi High Court’s decision to uphold Ashan Kumar’s removal from the Indian Kabaddi Team’s coaching staff serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing and investigating allegations of harassment seriously. The court’s ruling underscores the need to prioritize the safety and well-being of all individuals involved in sports, both athletes and coaches, and highlights the legal processes in place to do so.

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