Having emerged successful with his plea in the Delhi high court, India pugilist Manoj Kumar was conferred the Arjuna award by Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at his Shastri Bhawan office in Delhi on Wednesday.
"We are happy to offer this award to the most deserving Manoj Kumar. We believe he will bring more and more glory to the country," said Sonowal.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist was denied the award by the Kapil Dev-led selection committee even as fellow-boxer Jai Bhagwan was recommended for the coveted honour.
Feeling "insulted", he approached the Sports Ministry, which assured him that his name would be added to the list in a review meeting. But after being snubbed a second time in the review meeting, he took the legal route and filed a case and emerged triumphant.
The Sports Ministry admitted that there was a mix-up with the name, as another junior boxer, also named Manoj Kumar, was not considered for the award because of doping allegations in a junior tournament.
The ministry, represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, informed Justice Vibhu Bakhru that Kumar was initially not considered for the award by the committee as they mistakenly believed that he was involved in a doping case.
Image: Manoj Kumar proudly displays the Arjuna award
Photograph: Manoj Kumar/Facebook