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Sportsperson Can Be Nominated to RS: Centre to HC

Sachin Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha as per the constitutional provision which also allows induction of experts from the field of sports, government told the Delhi High Court today.

Additional Solicitor General Rajeev Mehra said the provision under Article 80 of the Constitution does not confine to inducting experts only from the fields of science, arts, literature and social services but also those from sports, education and other areas.

Mehra placed a copy of the affidavit, which was earlier filed in the Allahabad High Court on a similar plea against Tendulkar's nomination to the Upper House, before the bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.

The senior counsel had told the bench earlier that the government has already taken a stand before the Allahabad High Court on the same issue and the copy of the affidavit would be produced for the court's perusal.

The centre was responding to a PIL filed by Ram Gopal Singh Sisodia, a former Delhi MLA, challenging Sachin's nomination alleging that he does not possess any of the qualifications prescribed under Article 80 of the Constitution for being nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

"A bare reading of the Article makes it clear that the person to be nominated should have special knowledge or practical experience in matters like literature, science, arts and social service, but the expertise so required for nomination is not confined to the specific illustrations given in the Article," he said.

"The special knowledge and practical experience required for the purpose is not confined to the said four categories only but would also include categories like sports, education, law, history, academics attainments, Indology, economics, journalism, parliamentary practice and procedure, public administration, agriculture, sports (wrestling) or other similar fields of human endeavour," the affidavit said.

Appearing for Sisodia, counsel R K Kapoor told the bench that he has filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking transfer of all the petitions from various high courts to the Apex Court.

Earlier, the bench had asked the Centre to explain how was the sports category covered in nominating a sportsperson to the Rajya Sabha.

The petitioner said the Constitution allowed the government to nominate to the Rajya Sabha persons only from four fields - arts, science, literature and social science, and argued that the nomination of a sportsperson to the RS was unconstitutional.

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