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Sachin Tendulkar is an artist and deserves Rajya Sabha nomination: Govt

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Sachin Tendulkar’s skills on the cricket field make him an artist, fully deserving to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the Centre told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday.
Defending its decision to nominate the maestro under the ‘Arts’ category, the Centre maintained that the few categories enumerated in the Constitution were illustrative and not exhaustive, saying the government has the discretion to expand on each of the categories.
Relying on Constituent Assembly debates, the Centre said it was well within its rights to nominate Sachin, who is a “distinguished citizen” of the country.
A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw reserved its order on a PIL challenging Sachin’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha.
Appearing for the Centre, additional solicitor general Rajeev Mehra said Sachin’s nomination to the Upper House was as per the constitutional provision which also allows induction of experts from the field of sports. The law officer said the provision under Article 80 of the Constitution was not confined to inducting experts only from the fields of science, arts, literature and social services but also from sports, education and other areas.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Ram Gopal Singh Sisodia, a former Delhi MLA, challenging Sachin’s nomination alleging that he did 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 argued.
Appearing for Sisodia, counsel R K Kapoor told the bench that 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 Rajya Sabha was unconstitutional.
In an affidavit to the HC, the Centre had earlier contended, “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, academic attainments, Indology, economics, journalism… or other similar field of human endeavour.”


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