New Delhi: A division bench of the Delhi High Court on Saturday stayed a single-judge order directing the centre to confer a Dronacharya award on former chief national wrestling coach Vinod Kumar. A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, at a special sitting, stayed Friday’s order that had asked the central government to confer the award on Kumar. The awards are to be presented at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday evening.

The division bench’s order came on an appeal by the centre against Friday’s decision. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain told IANS: “The division bench of the high court stayed the single judge’s order. The bench said that the single-judge order was passed without hearing the case fully.” “Awards are scheduled for today (Saturday) evening. We (Centre) got the order on Friday evening; so we mentioned the matter before the Chief Justice bench in the morning,” he added.

Kumar earlier moved the high court against the Dronacharya award selection committee for ignoring him for the prestigious honour. The committee had recommended Anoop Singh Dahiya’s name for this award. Vinod Kumar, who was the chief national men’s team coach from November 2010 to April 2015, had claimed that he had earned more points for his achievements of his wards at international tournaments than Anoop. He said that he had the highest points amongst all nominees and better qualification for getting the award. Kumar was conferred the Dhyan Chand award in 2012.

Dhyan Chand award is given to those athletes who miss out on the Arjuna award, while the Dronacharya award is given to coaches whose wards do well for the country. The Wrestling Federation of India sacked Vinod as the chief national coach in May after his performance as a mentor during the Doha Asian Championship was found to be inadequate.

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