HC reserves judgement on PIL against Hockey India

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgement 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 a sports broadcaster.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri reserved its order after the counsel for Joachim Caravalho, a former player and coach, the Centre and the Hockey India concluded their arguments.

Counsel Jayant Bhushan, appearing for Caravalho, said HI was trying to prevent players from deriving monetary gains by participating in WSH as it was for the first time that such a tournament was being organized which offers money to participating players.

"They (HI) want to ruin the financial prospects of not just 11 or 24 players but the top 48 players of the country", he said.

Bhushan alleged HI`s camp, which is to be held to prepare the players for the Olympics for a total of 71 days, was organized with the sole purpose of preventing them from participating in WSH.

He said it is illegal on the part of HI to threaten disqualification of those players participating in the tournament.

"The whole idea is to deliberately prevent them (players) from playing in WSH", he added.

He also said HI intended to start its own league in 2013 and they wanted the players to wait till then.

Referring to the Supreme Court order in the matter related to the row between HI and IHF, Bhushan said "the apex court recognized you (HI) only to the extent of choosing players for the national team but it is not entitled to disqualifying players solely on the ground of participating in WSH."

PTI