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Sacked for being short, former woman athlete drags Punjab cops to court 

A 29-year-old former national athlete has dragged the Punjab police to court after she lost her job as a constable in 2012 on grounds that she was half an inch shorter than the mandatory height required for the job.Earlier this month, the Punjab and Haryana high court issued notice to the state police on Iqbal Kaur’s plea, in which she said she is 5 feet 3 inches tall, which is the required height for awoman cop in Punjab. She has also attached to her plea a medical certificate issued by a Ludhiana civil surgeon at the time of her recruitment in 2008.

She had joined the service in 2008, as part of the 3% quota for sportspersons, along with 65 others. However, she was dismissed along with 36 others in March 2012 after it was found that relaxations,either in height or educational qualifica tion, were given to them.

However, she claimed that she never sought any relaxation in norms. “It would only be appropriate that I am given due regard both as a sportsperson and a national of my country . I was given a showcause notice along with 36 other cops but I was not given any opportunity to be heard,“ Kaur, who is from Tanda village of Hoshiarpur district, told TOI. Kaur’s lawyer said she has won more than 30 medals, including two gold and a bronze, in national championships in 800 and 1,500 metres. The HC sent the notice to Punjab police on June 2, seeking a reply by July 27. “We will obey court orders and will certainly help the sportsperson if injustice has been done to her,“ said a senior Punjab police officer of the administration wing.

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