Delhi HC asks TTFI to give paddler Manika Batra a good shot

The Delhi High Court said it did not want a player to be unnecessarily harassed and asked the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) to give the country’s star paddler Manika Batra a good word. filed a complaint against the national sports body.

Judge Rekha Palli, who previously ordered the Sports Ministry to open an investigation against the sports body, said according to the report, which is filed under seal, no fault could be attributed to the player for seeking a personal trainer.

The judge was hearing Batra’s motion alleging that TTFI was conducting its selection processes in a non-transparent manner and was targeting certain people like herself.

Batra, who has been excluded from India’s contingent for the Asian table tennis championships, claimed that national coach Soumyadeep Roy had “put pressure” on her to “throw” an Olympic qualifying match in favor of one of its interns.

Last time around, the top-ranked Indian paddler told the court that she was the target of the National Federation for raising her grievances in court and now the International Federation is also treating her as an accused.

“I’m not happy with the way the federation works. You’re trying to sound out a person for no reason. Is your federation willing to take a stand? Is it willing to withdraw the cause of exposure that was given to it? I saw the investigation report. The idea is to settle … if she can go and concentrate on the matches. It is not to perpetuate, “said the court to the lawyer of TTFI .

“There is a conclusion (in the Center report) that there is no fault on her part (if she says) that I want a personal coach. The report says very clearly that blaming the petitioner would not be appropriate, “he observed.

“Right now a player shouldn’t be in pain. The country can’t afford to have players in court… I want you to give them a nice note, saying that no investigation is needed. ‘there is) no question of misconduct on his part,’ said the judge, giving the lawyers time to seek directions.

During the hearing, the court also arrested the TTFI for “going beyond” its order ordering the Center to investigate its cases, saying it “will take suo motu outrage”.

Lead lawyer Sachin Datta, representing the claimant, on the basis of correspondence exchanged between the two sports bodies, said that on the same day the court ordered the investigation to be opened, TTFI attempted to circumvent the investigation. by writing to the International Table Tennis Federation to begin its independent investigation.

Lead counsel requested that a judicial review be ordered into the complainant’s allegations and the operation of TTFI.

Counsel Sandeep Sethi, representative of TTFI, said there was no bad faith on the part of the sporting body and said the same would become clear after learning about the series of emails exchanged with the international organization.

The court ordered the correspondence filed by the TTFI to be recorded at the next hearing on November 17.

In her petition, Commonwealth Games gold medalist and winner Khel Ratna sought to overturn TTFI rules requiring mandatory national camp attendance for coaches for selection in international events.

He stated that table tennis is an individual sport, which requires specialized training with support staff and therefore the rule against personal training is arbitrary, irrational, absurd and has no connection with the achievement of the excellence in an individualized sport.

While upholding the rule on September 23, the court said that compulsory attendance at the national camp was imposed “at a time when there was a pending complaint against the national coach” and that the same “does not inspire confidence”.

The petition claimed that the national coach, in a clear conflict of interest, simultaneously ran a private table tennis academy and that on one occasion “pressured the petitioner to miss a match just for the sake of the goal. to help one of his trainees at his private academy to qualify for the Olympic Games, 2020 “.

“This incident occurred on March 17, 2021, in connection with the match that will take place on March 18, 2021, during the 2021 Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament hosted by ATTU (Asian Table Tennis Union). petitioner refused to comply with such an unethical, illegal and immoral request, but she also immediately communicated it to the TTFI advisor on March 18, 2021, ”the plea reads.

“After the end of the Olympics, Respondent No. 1 (TTFI) published rules and regulations dated September 4, 2021 (received by the petitioner on September 27, 2021) informing her that participation in the National Coaches Camp is mandatory, otherwise it will not be selected for an upcoming international event, ”he said.

Previously, the Center had said that the federation’s rule on compulsory participation in the national camp went against the sports code and went against merit.

TTFI had defended the rule and said such a mandate was also present in other sports, including weightlifting and judo.

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