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Ordering Centre To Make All Arrangements For Participation Of Women U-18 Volleyball Team In Asian Championship, Court Held “Country’s Prestige Involved”: Orissa HC

In the case of Lasyamayee Mohanta v. Union of India & Ors., W.P.(C) No. 11906 of 2022, the Orissa High Court has directed the Union of India to make all arrangements, including financial and travelling provisions, for the Indian Under-18 Women’s Volleyball Team to participate in the 14th Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship, which is scheduled to be held in June at Nakhon Pathom city of Thailand.

Brief Facts Of The Case:  Ms. Lasyamayee Mohanta, an Odisha-born volleyball player who was chosen to play for the Indian Under-18 Women’s Volleyball Team in the 14th Asian Women’s U-18 Volleyball Championship, filed the writ petition. There is a serious allegation that the authorities are failing to send the team for participation in the aforementioned competition, which was set to take place between June 6 and June 13, 2022, in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, despite the fact that there is no dispute regarding the players due to some disputes involving the management of the Volleyball Federation of India that are still pending at another level.

According to the petition, despite O.P. 3’s recommendation that the Indian Under-18 Women’s Volleyball Team be sent, no decision has been made, which has resulted in substantial bias toward the participants. The possibility of the nation losing out on involvement in the process was also raised as a source of discontent. The petitioner’s counsel, Mr. P.K. Rath, said that even if there had been disagreements over other matters involving the Volleyball Federation of India, those disagreements should not have prevented India from being selected for or representing India in such a renowned competition. The players should not be made to suffer for lack of effort on their side, he added. He further emphasised that India will not be represented in the 14th Asian Women’s U-18 Volleyball Championship until an interim protection is provided allowing participation of the contingency. During the hearing, Mr. P.K. Parhi, Assistant Solicitor General of India for the Union of India, made an important submission. He claimed that despite his best efforts, neither O.P. 1 nor O.P. 2 responded to his contacts.

Judgement: Even if there are some ongoing legal battles involving matters that are unrelated to this case, the court determined that there is no legal barrier to sending the Indian contingent to compete in the 14th Asian Women’s U-18 Volleyball Championship. Keeping in view the above circumstances and as there was no objection coming from O.Ps.1 & 2 as of the date of hearing, the Court was constrained to direct O.Ps. 1 & 2 to make all necessary arrangements for moving of the contingency. It accordingly ordered O.Ps.1 & 2 to make all arrangements for preparation and moving of the contingency prepared under Annexure-4 following the communication on the Schedule and the time frame in different aspect and also make necessary financial arrangements for their movement to participate in the 14th Asian Women’s U-18 Volleyball Championship including VISA facility, if any, by completing the entire exercise within three days from the date of communication of this order. In the meantime, O.P. 3 is directed to keep the contingency selected list, vide Annexure-4 ready to proceed for their participation in the event.

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Judgement Reviewed By Prakirti Jena

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