In a significant development, Delhi High Court has quashed the petitions filed by table tennis players Manush Shah and Swastika Ghosh against their exclusion from the country’s Commonwealth Games squad. While dismissing the petitions, Delhi HC has stated that the selection of sportspersons is based on numerous factors and cannot be as simple as comparing individual performance scores.
The court further notified that litigations arising from the selection exercise may disrupt and impact the preparation and performance of the players. The court further emphasised the fact that a player must possess physical as well as great mental and emotional strength and agility to represent a nation and to participate and excel. “To achieve a smooth process, there should be no uncertainty in their minds,” said Delhi HC.
The petitioner sought a direction from the Table Tennis Federation of India to include their names in the list of four selected players for the table tennis team for the Commonwealth Games 2022. The petitioners’ grievances before the court were that their names were excluded from the final selection list by the Selection Committee and the Committee of Administrators even though they fulfilled the selection criteria.
In their petition, players alleged that the process of selection was not correct and the persons included in the list or being proposed to be sent to participate in the CWG were much below the rankings compared to them. The court in its judgment clearly stated that it has taken into account that the Selection Committee/Expert Committee has considered numerous factors while taking the decisions of selecting a sportsperson to represent the country.
The Delhi High court has also observed that the power of a judicial review in the matters relating to sports can be exercised only if there is an allegation of bad faith and in the present case, there was the complete absence of any arbitrariness of malafide in the decision arrived at by the Committee of Administrators.