The Division Bench of Madras High Court has set aside the Order allowing Tamil Nadu State Volleyball Association (TNSVA) to select and send players to participate in the event of Volleyball in the 36th National Games 2022 at Gujarat.

The Bench of Justice G.R. Swaminathan and Justice N. Mala observed that TNSVA will not have an independent standing to nominate or send its teams for participation in the National Games.

"TNSVA is affiliated to VFI (Volleyball Federation of India). TNSVA cannot challenge the scheme set out in the bye-laws of VFI. It is seen from the constitution and bye-laws of VFI that it is the official organization in complete and sole charge of all matters concerned with the game of Volleyball in India.", the Bench noted.

Vide communication dated August 6, 2022, VFI constituted a selection committee to select the members of the men and women teams for volleyball and beach volleyball to represent the State of Tamil Nadu in the 36th National Games. This communication was challenged by TNSVA. Notice was ordered and the petitions seeking interim reliefs were taken up for hearing on September 30, 2022.

After hearing counsel on either side, direction was issued to the Government of India and the Government of Gujarat to approve the list of players selected and sent by TNSVA and allow them to participate in the event of Volleyball at the 36th National Games.

Advocate P.V. Balasubramanian appeared for the Appellant-VFI whereas Advocate S.Thankasivan appeared for TN State Volleyball. Advocate J.Madhumitha appeared for Tamil Nadu State Olympic Association and Advocate Sricharan Rangarajan appeared for Chairman, Selection Committee.

The Division Bench observed that TNSVA did not act in time to finalize the State team. The Bench further noted that Article XIX of the constitution of VFI clearly gives power to VFI to step in in matters concerning preparation of teams for National Championship.

"We therefore find considerable merit in the contention of the learned counsel appearing for the appellant that the impugned communicated dated 06.08.2022 is within the competence of VFI. It is true that TNSVA filed the writ petition on 22.08.2022 itself. But the effective hearing of the interim applications was taken up only on 30.09.2022. By then much water had flown under the bridge. The accreditation process was over on 08.09.2022 itself. The team entries got closed on 31.08.2022 itself. TNSVA conducted the selection trials only from 10-14 September 2022. It is obvious from the sequence of events that the matters had become infructuous by 30.09.2022.", the Bench observed.

The Court further observed that "There is one other reason which impels us to interfere. The counsel have made available the email sent by GTCC Secretariat, 36th National Games, Gujarat 2022 stating that in view of the interim orders passed by the Madras High Court, no volleyball players / teams representing Tamil Nadu will be participating in the 36th National Games."

The Court noted that if it did not interfere in the instant Writ Appeal, there will be no representation for the State of Tamil Nadu in the Volleyball event.

Therefore the Court set aside the order of the Single Judge dated September 30, 2022 while allowing the writ appeal.

Cause Title- Volleyball Federation of India v. Tamil Nadu State Volleyball & Ors.

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