Delhi HC asks TTFI to file affidavit showing selection criteria for CWG squad
After three paddlers - Diya, Swastika, Manush raised petitions challenging the selection policy used by the CoA-run TTFI to choose the CWG team, the Delhi HC has asked TTFI to file an affidavit clarifying the same.
The Delhi High Court is coming down heavily on the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) once again as the sports national federation has been directed to file an affidavit within the next seven days, in response to the writ petitions raised by players where TTFI has to clarify the selection criteria that has been used to select the squad for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games.
After players Manush Shah and Swastika Ghosh filed petitions questioning the selection procedure used by the CoA-run TTFI, the Delhi High Court issued a notice on Friday to the sports body. Both Manush and Swastika have been kept as reserve players on the Birmingham-bound squad of table tennis players.
Justice Jyoti Singh asked TTFI's counsel to provide an affidavit stating the marking criteria and demonstrating that it was followed correctly during the selection of players.
The court has also instructed TTFI to submit the file containing the marks issued to the players. The current selection policy gives 50 per cent weightage to domestic performances, 30 per cent to international and 20 per cent to the discretion of the selectors - but of course, the lines have been blurred while making the selection by the CoA, which has snowballed into a big issue now, causing unrest among players.
The bench said: "You say you met the criteria. Submit an affidavit to show what the criteria were and whether you followed them. The court needs to know on what basis the numbers were given."
The court allowed the application moved by lawyer Shilpa Gamnani, counsel for Manush Shah, who was suing other players selected for the event and also granted time to advise Swastika Ghosh to advocate for other female players selected for the CWG.
The court conveyed: "The other players should be there to defend themselves."
Senior attorney Arijit argued that his client was not selected despite meeting the criteria. Another player was preferred over her because one of the private coaches was part of the selection committee, indicating at unfair policies. He also argued that the selection panel has non-affiliated members such as athletes and badminton players. A table tennis coach has resigned from his position.
Attorney Abhishek Malhotra, counsel for Manush Shah, argued that despite meeting the criteria, the petitioner has been listed as a reserved or standby player.
Counsel for Swastika Ghosh also argued that the petitioner is India No. 4 and despite that, she has been included in the list of reserve players.
Further, it was only when paddler Diya Chitale filed a petition did the TTFI included her in the player's list and dropped Archana Kamath, who was anyway not meeting the current selection criteria that TTFI is said to have followed.
A response from the TTFI is now awaited as it remains to be seen how they can clear up the mess, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
(With inputs from ANI)