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Two chess players to seek Rs 1 cr compensation from AICF for career disruption

Two chess players to seek Rs 1 cr compensation from AICF for career disruption

Chennai, June 7 (SocialNews.XYZ) Two chess players Karun Duggal and Gurpreet Pal Singh will file a case against the All India Chess Federation (AICF), demanding a compensation for a ban during their career peak.

"Couple of days back the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had dismissed AICF's petition for restoration of appeal for non-appearance of its lawyers. Now the AICF has to approach the Supreme Court," Duggal told IANS.


He also said the two players will be filing a case for compensation of Rs.1 crore each against AICF for spoiling their career by banning them and several others while they were at their playing peak.

Recapping the issue Duggal said: "On July 12, 2018, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) passed an order under Section 27 of the Competition Act imposing a penalty of about Rs.6.92 lakh on AICF for contravention of provisions of Section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act."

The penalty of Rs. 6.92 lakh was also imposed on AICF for indulging into the anti-competitive conduct.

The CCI had received information from four chess players who were subjected to disciplinary action by AICF for participation in a chess event not authorised by it. The case concerned several stipulations of AICF on chess players, organisation of chess tournaments, discretionary nomination of players and others.

In its order the CCI observed that AICF’s restriction on chess players to participate in unauthorised events and attendant punitive consequences restricted the movement of chess players and placed them and potential organisers of chess tournaments in a disproportional disadvantage.

Hence, such stipulation was held as an unreasonable restriction on chess players and denial of market access to organisers of chess events/ tournaments, in contravention of the provisions of Section 4(1) read with 4(2)(b)(1) and Section 4(2)(c) of the Act.

The restrictions on chess players were further held to be in the nature of exclusive distribution and refusal to deal, in contravention of Section 3(4)(c) and Section 3(4)(d) of the Act, the CCI said.

"Subsequently, the AICF filed an appeal against the CCI order in the National Company Law Tribunal, AICF lawyers kept on delaying the matters by seeking adjournments every time. Finally the appeal was dismissed due to non prosecution on 11-07-23. After the dismissal AICF lawyers requested to restore the appeal at NCLAT," Duggal said.

Again the AICF lawyers did not appear.

The NCLAT on May 30, 2024 dismissing the appeal said: "None appears on behalf of the Appellant. Even on the last date i.e., on 04.04.2024 none appeared for the Appellant. It seems that Appellant is not interested in the matter. This Restoration Application is, therefore, dismissed for non-prosecution. Pending applications are also dismissed."

Now the AICF has to approach the Supreme Court or pay up the penalty to CCI if not already paid.

"The AICF does not have any argument against the CCI order. They had been delaying the issue without any reason. Apart from filing a case for compensation against AICF, we will also file a Caveat petition with the apex court," Duggal said.

The Caveat petition will be filed so that the two players are informed if the AICF approaches the Supreme Court against the NCLAT order.

So, the fight between the chess players and AICF seems to have reached its end game stage with the formers having an advantage.

When contacted for his comments on the latest development Gurpreet declined to comment on the case.

AICF would have spent several times over and above the fine of Rs 6.92 lakh levied by the CCI. For arguing the case in the CCI, the AICF lawyers came from Chennai, Singh had told IANS earlier.

Be that as it may, even after the CCI’s landmark order against AICF banning chess players – irrespective of their age- for playing in private tournaments, the practice still continues particularly in Tamil Nadu.

Organisers of chess tournaments are also put to immense difficulty by vested interests that contact even the payment gateways and urge them to stop accepting the entry fee saying that the event is an unauthorised one.

"After accepting the entry fees online for a tournament, the payment gateway abruptly stopped it. An official of the payment gateway said they had received several phone calls saying that our tournament was not authorised and their future business would be affected if they continue to receive entry fee," retired army official J.Jeevan Kumar, Secretary, Evans Chess Club told IANS over phone from Nagercoil.

According to him, such an incident has happened to him earlier as well.

Last year three players - M.Karunakaran, 68, V.Palanikumar, 58, and Merryston David Scanny, 48- were not allowed to play in the Tirunelveli District Selection tournament at the last moment.

According to Scanny, the Tirunelveli District Chess Development Association Secretary B.Paulkumar did not allow them to play as they had played in a private tournament in Tenkasi district earlier.

In 2019, Paulkumar had barred then 11-year-old Karthik Rahul from playing in a tournament midway on the grounds that he had played in a private tournament.

However no action has been taken by AICF on these issues despite complaints being lodged with it.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be reached at

Source: IANS

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Two chess players to seek Rs 1 cr compensation from AICF for career disruption

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