The Punjab and Haryana High Court today sought the response of the Punjab Government on a public interest litigation seeking disbursement of cash awards to students and young sportspersons who achieve first three positions in any state, national or international event.
A division bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Sudhir Mittal issued notices to the Principal Secretary and the Director, Sports, seeking their reply by November 20 on the PIL filed by advocate H C Arora.
In his PIL, Arora has stated that under the Sports Policy-2010 notified by the Punjab government, students/young persons who achieve first, second or third positions in various competitions at state or national or international level are entitled to cash awards of amounts mentioned therein.
However, the Punjab government has shown an indifferent attitude towards implementation of the policy, he said.
The students are yet to be paid cash amounts for such awards for the session 2015-2016, and also for session 2016-2017, he contended.
In response to an RTI application filed by the petitioner, he was informed by the office of Director (Sports) that no arrangement or budgetary provisions have been made so far for disbursement of such cash awards, the PIL claimed.
As per the RTI information, there are 1,020 students who are yet to be paid cash awards for session 2015-2016, though applications were invited from them through public advertisement, he contended.
The petitioner has also submitted that the amount of such cash awards is paltry, and it hardly meets the expenses of the students for preparing and participating in such competitions.
For instance, for achieving first, second and third position in inter-university tournaments, the cash award specified is Rs 15,000, Rs 12,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively, he said in his PIL.
The state government is thus, in a way, discouraging the prospective Olympians, he contended.
The conduct of the state government is against the spirit of the sports policy, he contended.
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