The Punjab and Haryana high court was scheduled to hear on Thursday an appeal filed by the Punjab government on the issue of out-of-turn promotions given to sportspersons employed by the state police.
On Wednesday, the court had ruled that 340 sportspersons, who were given out-of-turn promotions based on their performance in their respective sport, must be demoted.
The decision would impact nine deputy superintendents of police, 70 inspectors, 80 sub-inspectors, 80 assistant sub-inspectors and 131 other personnel of different ranks.
Hockey star Jugraj Singh, currently undergoing treatment in a Ludhiana hospital for multiple fractures suffered in a road accident, may be demoted to a head constable's post if and when the HC order is implemented.
Others who would be affected include cricketer Harbhajan Singh, athlete Sunita Rani, Arjuna Award winner Gagan Ajit Singh and former Indian hockey captain Baljit Singh Dhillon.
Speaking to rediff.com, Flying Sikh Milkha Singh described the court order as unfortunate and hoped the state government would appeal against the order in the Supreme Court if the high court does not give relief in genuine cases.
"I feel the court order is harsh to those players who have played for the country and have earned a name for themselves by their outstanding performances. They need to be encouraged and not discouraged," Milkha said.
Former Indian hockey captain Ajitpal Singh too expressed the same view.
"What has been given is never taken back. I hope in the end justice would be done to the players who have given outstanding performances in international tournaments. But those who have been given out-of-turn promotions in sports quotas on grounds other than their performance should be demoted," he said.