India’s lone women Paralympic medallist Deepa Malik was on Saturday elected unopposed as the new president of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI). However, the PCI elections are subject to a pending case in the Delhi High Court. Also Read - India's Medal Count Will be in Double Digits at Tokyo Paralympics: Deepa Malik
Deepa, 49, won silver in shot put F-53 event in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. Also Read - Paralympian Deepa Malik Recalls Toughest Times of Her Life, Says Darkest Night Brought Best Sunrise of my Life
“My heartiest congratulations on the commencement of new innings of a fresh tenure in @ParalympicIndia. Expressing my gratitude on being trusted with the Presidentship and welcoming an athlete centric approach in para sports in India,” Deepa posted on her official Twitter account. Also Read - NSFs Brace For Reduction in Financial Assistance From Corporate Sector
Deepa is a decorated para-athlete having won a silver in the IPC World Championships in 2011 in shot put F 52-53 event, besides bagging a silver each in discus (F 52-53) and javelin throw (F 53-54) events in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. For her achievements she has been honoured with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna as well as Padma Shri.
She added, “A huge transition for me, personally, for which I hope for continued support. I look forward to disposing my duty with full honesty and integrity.”
Gurucharan Singh, who served as the interim president, has been elected unopposed as secretary general. He had taken up the position following the removal of Rao Inderjit Singh as the PCI president last year.
“It is the first time when a top athlete has been made president of a sports body under which he or she has been competing,” Gursharan said on the election of Deepa.
Gursharan is hopeful PCI will regain the recognition of the sports ministry should Delhi HC rule the election results as valid. “Sports Ministry is also a party in the case pending before the Delhi High Court, so if the High Court says the elections are valid, I think that should be binding to the sports ministry also,” he said.
Kavender Chaudhury and Shashi Ranjan Prasad Singh were elected as vice presidents, while M Mahadeva was made treasurer. Nale Nandkishor Baburao and Kantilal Parmar have been elected as joint secretaries.
Retired District and Additional Sessions Judge R Radha announced the names of the office bearers while adding that the results will be subject to further orders to be passed in a case pending before the Delhi HC.
PCI was de-recognised by the sports ministry claiming it violated National Sports Code through its decision sack Rao Inderjit Singh. The ministry didn’t found PCI’s response on the removal of Rao Inderjit satisfactory.