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    High Court in New Delhi Declines to Intervene in Sports Minister’s Order on Sexual Abuse

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    The Delhi High Court has upheld the decision of the Union sports ministry to remove Ashan Kumar, the chief coach of the Indian kabaddi men’s team, from his position for the Asiad Games 2023. This decision was made following allegations of sexual harassment and stalking made by a minor girl player. The court stated that these allegations are serious and it is not appropriate for Kumar to remain in his position while an inquiry is conducted by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).

    The court dismissed Kumar’s plea to challenge the ministry’s order, stating that the decision was not illegal or irrational. The court also mentioned that there are allegations against Kumar for various offenses under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012. The court’s order was passed on September 26 and uploaded on October 4.

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    Kumar, who is an Arjuna awardee, had argued that his removal from the position would negatively impact the team’s performance. However, the court did not find this argument convincing and upheld the ministry’s decision.

    The allegations against Kumar were made by a minor girl on September 4, leading to an FIR being registered against him. However, the girl later filed an affidavit stating that there was a misunderstanding and the police filed a closure report.

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    Overall, the court’s decision affirms the importance of taking allegations of sexual harassment seriously and ensuring a fair investigation is conducted.

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