SC to hear visually challenged cricketer’s plea

New Delhi:: A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court by a partially visually challenged cricketer from Uttar Pradesh, seeking a direction from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to include him in next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

The apex court has admitted the petition and it is likely to hear the same next week.

The petitioner, Ratendra Singh Jayara, is a visually challenged professional cricketer, who has participated in seven national-level blind cricket tournaments in India organised by Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) and other Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) representing Uttar Pradesh state and India Red team as a B3 category player.

Jayara knocked the doors of the apex court after he was denied to participate in the 2018 IPL cricketing tournament.

Jayara, in his seven-page petition, a copy exclusively accessed by ANI through the cricketer, claimed that he was denied playing in the IPL 2018 cricket tournament, which had resulted in infringement of his fundamental rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.

He, in his petition, also claimed that he has also participated in two national level Para athletics championship organised by Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) representing Uttar Pradesh state as T13 category player.

Jayara had earlier approached the BCCI to include him in the IPL 2018 as a visually impaired partially sighted cricketer, giving reference of the Rights of Person with Disability Act 2016 which states equal opportunity.

He also claimed that he should be included in the IPL on grounds that the United Nations Convention on The Rights of Person with Disabilities (UNCRPD) treaty, to which India is a signatory, stated that such kind of persons with disabilities should be incorporated. However, he was denied permission to play.

The petitioner also gave reference of the fundamental right laid down in the Constitution of India -‘The Right to Equality’ for his inclusion in the IPL.

“If the petitioner is capable of playing sighted cricket despite having visual impairment then the petitioner must be included by the IPL because the Rights of Person with Disability Act 2016 and the Fundamental Right to Equality emphasize on the participation of a person with disabilities in mainstream sports activities,” Jayara stated in his petition.