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BCCI has to verify age based on birth certificate: Delhi High Court

The BCCI has been directed by the court to verify ages of players based on birth certificates and other documents © PTI
The BCCI has been directed by the court to verify ages of players based on birth certificates and other documents © PTI

New Delhi: Jan 21, 2014

The Delhi High Court today stayed the order of a single judge directing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to determine the age of players on the basis of birth certificates or documents furnished as age proof while doing away with the bone test.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana stayed the December 29, 2013 order of the single judge asking the BCCI to verify the genuineness and authenticity of the documents, including the school certificates, filed by Yash Sehrawat and Aryan Sehrawat, who were denied permission to play an under-16 cricket tournament by the cricketing body citing over-age.

The order was stayed on an appeal filed by BCCI saying the single judge had erred in rejecting the Tanner Whitehouse 3 (TW-3) (bone age determination) method adopted by the cricket body to ascertain their age for the tournament.

In the appeal filed through advocate Radha Rangaswamy, the BCCI said the single judge had failed to appreciate the correctness of TW-3 test and also the level playing field that the cricketing body provides to the players.

It also said the age of the players was determined as 16 years six months as on September 1, 2012 and therefore the petition was infructuous in 2013 and the players could not have been considered for under-16 tournament in 2013.

BCCI had conducted their age determination test using TW-3 method at Fortis Hospital in New Delhi in September 2012. As per the test, both Yash and Aryan were found to be above 16 and thus not eligible for the tournament.

Yash and Aryan then moved the high court in August 2013 praying that bone age test for under-16 tournament be used only in case documentary proof if chronological age is not available and since they have supplied documentary proof, the same be relied upon.

On their pleas, the single judge had directed BCCI and the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) to verify the documents in four weeks to ascertain their genuineness and if so found, record the date of birth of the petitioners in their data base and accordingly consider them for playing in the tournaments for which they are found eligible.

The BCCI has in its appeal said they introduced bone age test only after the Sports Ministry adopted National Code Against Age Frauds in Sports (NCAAFS) and it is not for it to verify the documents.

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