Table tennis player Achana Kamath’s petition in the Karnataka High Court was dismissed on Wednesday, reported Live Law.
The 21-year-old had filed a writ petition in the court after being left out of the Indian team that will compete at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, starting on July 28.
The Bangalore-resident, who is ranked No 4 in the world in doubles, and is India’s second highest ranked singles player at world No 66, was left out of the squad since the existing selection policy does not give heavy weightage to international singles rankings and doubles rankings are not considered.
The policy instead gives 50% weightage to domestic rankings, with 30% to international rankings and 20% is left to the selectors’ discretion. Domestically, Kamath is ranked 37.
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A new ranking system will be in order in October 2022 which provides equal importance to domestic and international performances but that doesn’t help Kamath.
“The Committee of Administrators is chaired by a Former Chief Justice and two other eminent persons. Based on the existing policy the selection has been made,” the division bench of Justice PS Dinesh Kumar and Justice CM Poonacha said, as reported by Live Law.
“These are matters within the domain of the expert committee and in this case in the domain of the Committee of Administrators. The Delhi High Court has also dismissed a writ petition filed by (Swastika Ghosh) wherein the very selection was challenged. In our view the petition does not merit consideration and accordingly it is dismissed.”
In February, the Delhi High Court placed the Table Tennis Federation of India under the control of a three-member CoA after India’s top player Manika Batra had appealed to the court that she had been approached to fix a match by the then national coach, and the TTFI had failed to react to her complaints.
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The CoA – that is chaired by retired Chief Justice Gita Mittal, and includes senior advocate Chetan Mittal and former athlete SD Mudgil – in a meeting in May, deemed the existing selection policy was flawed, but had no choice but to stick with it given the short deadline for team selection.
However, the selectors initially added Kamath to the team, prompting Diya Chitale – who had been named as a reserve - to approach the Delhi High Court. Before her case was heard though, Chitale had been added to the team and Kamath was removed in CoA’s final announcement of the squad.
Two more writ petitions in the Delhi High Court followed. Manush Shah, who was named as a reserve in the men’s team, and Swastika Ghosh, the new women’s team reserve, approached the court, but their cases were also dismissed.
Last week, Kamath became the fourth player to file a writ petition. The Karnataka HC did initially put a stay order on the team selection, but on Wednesday concluded the case in favour of the CoA.
The table tennis event starts on July 29 in Birmingham.
India’s TT squads for CWG
Men: Achanta Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty, Manush Shah (standby)
Women: Manika Batra, Diya Chitale, Reeth Rishya, Sreeja Akula, Swastika Ghosh (Standby)