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Delhi High Court seeks Central governement's stand on plea by table tennis star Manika Batra against TTFI

India Today logo India Today 20-09-2021 India Today Web Desk
a man looking at the camera: Delhi High Court seeks Centre's stand on plea by Manika Batra against TTFI Delhi High Court seeks Centre's stand on plea by Manika Batra against TTFI

Delhi High Court has asked the central government's counsel to take instruction on the petition filed by table tennis player Manika Batra against the Table Tennis Federation of India for dropping her name for the Asian Championship.

Manika was not included in the India squad since she did not attend the national camp. Following the Tokyo Games controversy where Manika did not allow Roy to sit in her corner during her singles matches, the TTFI had made it compulsory for the players to attend national camps.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli asked the counsel appearing for Central Government to take instruction on the petition filed by Manika Batra. The court listed the matter for further hearing on September 23. The Court has granted two days time to take instructions to the and clear its stand on the petition.

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The Court noted that Manika Batra is the highest-ranking player in the country and suggested that there should be some balance in taking such decisions.

Batra filed a petition on account of the omissions and commissions of the Respondent The Table Tennis Federation of India and issuing the Rules and Regulations for National Camps dated 04.08.2021 which she said are the face, arbitrary, capricious and unsustainable.

"In spite of the Petitioner having brought laurels to the country, as recently during the Tokyo Olympics, 2020, she has been left out of the contingent being sent for the 25th ITTF Asian Table Tennis Championships, 2021 to be held in Doha from 28.09.2021 to 04.10.2021," the petitioner said.

The petitioner Batra said that the background facts leading to the issuance of Rules and Regulations dated August 8, 2021, are that Respondent Soumyadeep Roy had earlier sought out the Petitioner and pressurized her to sign a letter written to the Respondent Centre, recommending Roy's name as the National coach of the Table Tennis contingent to represent India in the Summer Olympics, 2020.

"Table Tennis is an individual sport, which requires specialised training with support staff. Only the personal coach would know the strengths, weaknesses, skills and areas which a player should focus and strengthen. However, these Rules do not permit any personal coach/support staff. Therefore, the Rules of 04.08.2021 are arbitrary, irrational, absurd and have no nexus with achieving excellence in an individualised sport, such as table tennis, " the petitioner said.

A player undergoing training with her support staff would be severely prejudiced and her performance would be seriously affected if the Rules are not quashed, the petitioner urged. Therefore the petitioner Batra has urged the Delhi High Court to grant an ad-interim ex-parte order staying the operation of the impugned rules and regulations dated August 4.

She also sought direction from concerned authorities to include her name in the contingent representing India at the Asian Table Tennis Championship to be held at Doha from 28.09.2021 to 05.10.2021.

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