Delhi HC directs 3-member committee to probe Manika Batra's match fixing claim

India's top-ranked female paddler Manika Batra. (PC: TTFI)
India's top-ranked female paddler Manika Batra. (PC: TTFI)

The Delhi High Court directed the constitution of a three-member committee to look into Manika Batra's allegation of a match-fixing attempt. The star paddler alleged that the national coach had asked her to "throw a match" favoring his trainee in a Tokyo Olympic qualifier match.

The Delhi High Court has sought an interim report in four weeks.

Justice Rekha Palli heard Batra's petition alleging that the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) was carrying out its selection processes in a non-transparent manner and targeting certain individuals such as herself. Justice Palli said that based on the committee's report, she would consider the issue of appointing an administrator to run the national sports body.

The judge said the committee will comprise two judges and one sportsperson and more details will be given in the order.

Read: Delhi HC orders TTFI to give clean chit to Manika Batra

The judge had earlier directed the Sports Ministry to hold an inquiry against the sports body.

The court clarified that for the time being, except for informing the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) about the withdrawal of all action against Manika Batra, TTFI would not write to the international body regarding her.

Manika Batra says she is being targetted by federation

Manika Batra, who was left out of the Indian contingent for the Asian Table Tennis Championships, alleged in her petition that the national coach Soumyadeep Roy “pressurized” her to “throw away” an Olympic qualifier match in favor of one of his trainees.

Manika Batra, India's top-ranking female paddler, had told the court that she was being targeted by the national federation for raising her grievances in the court and that the international federation is also now treating her like an accused.

Senior counsel Sandeep Sethi, appearing for TTFI, informed the court that the executive board of the sports body has decided to recall the showcause and all consequential actions against Manika Batra. He added that TTFI would also write to the international body informing them about the development and urged the court to allow the sports body to prove it was bonafide.

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

Also read: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran practices with Lin Yun-ju ahead of 2021 World Table Tennis Championships

Edited by Parimal

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