- Manika Batra filed petition against TFFI and makes allegation against national coach Soumyadeep Roy
- Delhi HC tells centre to probe into Manika Batra allegations
- HC imposes stay order on compulsory attendance of Coaching Camp in Sonipat
In a big win for table tennis player Manika Batra, the Delhi High Court on Thursday imposed a stay order on Table Tennis Federation of India’s (TTFI) rule on compulsory attendance of the National Coaching Camp in order to be selected for any international event. The court further instructed the Centre to inquire into Manika Batra’s complaint against the sports body and also said that the Union Sports Ministry may look into the affairs of the TTFI if required.
Batra, who holds a Commonwealth Gold Medal and Khel Ratna Award, had filed the petition after being left out of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Asian Table Tennis Championship, which is scheduled to be held from September-October in Doha. The team will now be led by Sutirtha Mukherjee.
She had also made allegations against national coach Soumyadeep Roy who she claimed was simultaneously running a private table tennis academy and had ‘pressurized’ her to ‘throw away’ an Olympic qualifier match in favour of one of his trainees.
The petition was filed with regard to the recent order of TTFI which made it mandatory to attend the camp being held in Sonipat post the Tokyo Olympics, although Manika had informed that she would continue training with her personal coach in Pune.
Justice Rekha Palli, who was hearing the plea had sought the Centre’s stand on the petition. The judge further said that the allegations against the coach were serious and the Centre should be a little proactive. Furthermore, the rule mandating compulsory attendance was enforced “at a point when there was a complaint pending against the national coach” which “does not inspire confidence”.
The court was also “anguished” at the manner in which a committee constituted to look into the allegations, was reconstituted after it sought the centre’s stand on the issue. It also directed the Centre to place an inquiry report before it in four weeks. The next hearing is scheduled to be on 28th September.