Kerala HC issues notice to Centre over exclusion of volleyball sport in national games

The Kerala High Court on Friday issued notice to the state, union governments and the Volleyball Federation of India on a plea filed by young players against the decision not to include the sport in the 37th National Games which began in Goa on October 26.

Justice Devan Ramachandran, who heard the plea, issued a notice to the Union Sports Ministry, the Indian Olympic Association, the ad-hoc committee of the Volleyball Federation of India, the Volleyball Federation of India and the Kerala government through e-mail, considering the urgency of the situation.

As per the schedule, the volleyball sport was to be held from November 2 to 6, 2023 as part of the games.

The petition was moved by four young volleyball players, their coaches, and Arjuna award winner and noted player, Tom Joseph.

The court asked why the sport was removed from the National Games and said it will consider the plea tomorrow.

“The decision of the Ad-hoc Committee not to conduct volleyball competition in the upcoming 37th National Games is highly illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and violative of petitioners’ rights under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India,” the plea said.

The plea, submitted that due to various reasons, the recognition of the federation was not renewed by the Union government beyond December 31, 2019 and an Ad-hoc Committee at the national level was appointed to help the players in the interim period so that they would not lose any chance to compete in the matches, including national games.

It said the Ad-hoc Committee has recommended the Indian Olympic Association not to conduct a volleyball competition this year.

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