The Karnataka High Court (HC) on Wednesday put a stay on Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna to be awarded to tennis ace Sania Mirza after paralympian H Girisha’s plea against it.
The high court also issued a notice to the center regarding the same.
Earlier, Mirza had became only the second tennis player after Leander Paes to be recommended for the prestigious award.
Sania’s name was recommended by a Sports Ministry-constituted awards committee headed by Justice V K Bali, the retired Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. The committee included eminent athletes such as Dola Banerjee, M M Somayya and Bhogeshwar Baruah and sports journalists apart from top officials of the Sports Ministry.
The 28-year-old, who has won three mixed doubles Grand Slams in her career, beat competition from squash player Deepika Pallikal, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, track and field star Tintu Luka, rising shuttler P V Sindhu, and hockey captain Sardar Singh for the coveted honour.
Sania, currently ranked world number one in women’s doubles, scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a women’s doubles Grand Slam when she partnered Swiss great Martina Hingis for the Wimbledon trophy earlier this year.