Delhi High Court leads 3-member panel investigation into Manika Batra’s match-fixing allegation


Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the formation of a three-member committee to examine table tennis player Manika Batra’s allegation of an attempted match-fixing by the national coach and requested an interim report in four weeks. Judge Rekha Palli, who heard Batra’s petition alleging that the Indian Table Tennis Federation (TTFI) was conducting its selection processes in a non-transparent manner and targeting certain people like herself, said that based on the report of the committee, it would consider the question of the appointment of an administrator to lead the national sports body.

The committee will consist of two judges and an athlete and details will be given in the order, said the judge who previously ordered the sports ministry to open an investigation against the sports body. The court clarified that for now, except to inform the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) of the withdrawal of any action against Batra, TTFI would not write to the international body about him.

In case the ITTF needs any information, TTFI will transfer the request to the three-member committee, he added.

Batra, who was excluded from India’s contingent for the Asian Table Tennis Championships, alleged in her petition that national coach Soumyadeep Roy had “put pressure” on her to “throw” a match. Olympic qualification in favor of one of its trainees.

Batra, the best Indian paddler, had told the court that she was the target of the National Federation for raising her grievances in court and that now the International Federation was also treating her as an accused.

Senior lawyer Sandeep Sethi, appearing for TTFI, informed the court that the sports body’s board of directors had decided to recall the cause of the show and all resulting actions against the paddler. He added that TTFI would also write to the international body to inform them of the development and urged the court to allow the sports body to prove it is in good faith.

Senior lawyer Sachin Datta, representing Batra, urged the court to appoint an administrator to take over the running of TTFI.

“At this stage and given that the World Championship is due to start in a week, the petitioner’s request to appoint an administrator to lead the federation is postponed,” the court said. “It is considered appropriate to appoint a committee of three members to examine the petitioner’s complaint …”, he added.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma said he agreed with the court, noting “there is a rot that needs to be stopped.”

On November 15, the court said it wanted any player to be unnecessarily harassed and asked TTFI to give the petitioner a good shot.

In view of the Centre’s investigation report, filed under seal, the court found that no fault could be attributed to the player.

He also arrested the TTFI for “going beyond” its order for the Center to investigate its affairs, claiming that it “will take suo motu outrage”.

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 l excellence in an individual 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 ruin a match just for the sake of it. to help one of his trainees at his private academy to qualify for the Olympic Games, 2020 ”.

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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The case will be heard on December 20.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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