HC notice to Centre, Hockey India on plea of ex-player

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought responses from the Centre and others on a PIL filed by a coach alleging that Hockey India (HI) was threatening players against taking part in World Series Hockey (WSH), a joint initiative of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport.

"The Hockey India (HI) would file its response within three days," a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said and fixed the matter for further hearing on December 7.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Joachim Carvalho, a former player and coach, that HI, which is fighting legal battles with IHF, is threatening the players that if they take part in WSH they would not be selected for national duty.

Advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for Carvalho, said "for the first time our hockey players are going to get some money by playing in World Series Hockey (WSH) tournament and HI is trying to deny them their right to play."

Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok, appearing for the Centre, said "the government has no role in it and it has simply let out its stadiums at commercial rates for organizing the WSH."

Another advocate Sandeep Sethi, arguing for HI, said the matter is pending in the Supreme Court and Hockey India has been allowed by the apex court to select national teams for men and women.

WSH, an initiative of IHF and Nimbus Sport, is to be held between December 17, 2011 and January 22, 2012, with an aim to "reinvigorate hockey here and to make it a "sport of choice" for youngsters. On the lines of IPL, WSH would be played among eight franchisee-based teams.


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