Courts Update Manika Batra plea: Delhi HC grants Centre 2 days...

Manika Batra plea: Delhi HC grants Centre 2 days time on a petition against arbitrary TTFI rules

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New Delhi Sept 20(ILNS): The Delhi High Court granted the Central Government 2 days-time to obtain instruction, in a petition filed by Manika Batra, highest-ranked Indian Women’s Table Tennis player internationally, seeking inclusion in the contingent representing India at the Asian Table Tennis Championship to be held at Doha from September 28, 2021, amongst other reliefs.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli asked TTFI:

“What is the problem, if she wants to take coaching elsewhere?”

The plea further sought:

  1. Quashing the Rules and Regulations titled as “Rules and Regulations for National
    Camp” dated August 4, 2021 issued by Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
  2. directing the Union of India through Ministry of Youth Affairs to enquire into the
    management of TTFI, conduct of Soumyadeep Roy and other officials of TTFI.
    Arguments Advanced:
    Senior Advocate Sachin Datta appearing on behalf of Manika Batra submitted, Rules and
    Regulations dated August 4, 2021 regarding National Coaching Camp, were tailor-made to
    oust the petitioner from participating in any future tournament.
    Datta further submitted, TTFI is well aware of the allegations made by Batra against Roy, yet
    Batra was being compelled to take coaching from him.
    The counsel appearing on behalf of TTFI, vehemently denied the averments made by Datta
    and submitted, the National Coaching Camp being referred to was not coached by
    Soumyadeep Roy.
    Serious allegations against Soumyadeep Roy, National Coach, allegedly pressurized Batra
    to throw away a match.
    Background:
    The petition has alleged, that TTFI is carrying out its selection processes in non-transparent
    manner, targeting certain individuals such as the Petitioner and acting completely contrary
    to the interest of Sports and Sportspersons.

In the petition, Batra has made serious allegations against Soumyadeep Roy, National Coach, Women’s Table Tennis. According to the plea, Roy pressurized Batra to throw away a match, only with a view to helping one of his trainees at his private academy to qualify for the Olympics, 2020.

The petition avers, post the conclusion of Olympics, TTFI issued Rules and Regulations dated August 4, 2021, informing Batra that attending of National Coaching Camp is compulsory, failing which she would not be selected for any upcoming international event.

The petition claimed, 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.

These latest developments come after the controversy at Tokyo Olympics, where Manika
Batra had refused permission to Soumyadeep Roy to sit as her coach, during the singles
event.

The petition was argued by Senior Advocate Sachin Datta and filed by Advocate Akshay
Amritanshu. The petition has been listed for further hearing on September 23, 2021./ILNS/KR/SNG

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