New Delhi: The family of a 15-year-old football player, who drowned in Australia while being on a tour last year, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking compensation of Rs 35 crore from the authorities and demanding an inquiry against them.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru sought a response of the Centre, the Delhi government, School Games Federation of India and Rajkiya Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, where the minor girl was studying.
Nitisha Negi, who had gone to Australia to participate in an international sports tournament, was swept away by a storm at the beach in December last.
The Class XI student of a government school in east Delhi drowned at Holdfast Marina beach in Adelaide, where she had gone with four of her friends after the match, which was part of the Pacific International School Games, 2017.
The court issued the notice to the authorities on the petition filed by advocate Wills Mathews and listed the matter for further hearing on May 8 next year.
The petition, filed by the girl’s parents, grandparents and two siblings, alleged “utter negligence and lapses” on part of officials who had taken the participants to the beach, resulting in the death of the minor on December 10 last year.
The plea said Negi had represented India in two international events in 2015 and 2016 with various achievements to her credit.
She had gone there to participate in the selection process for Football U-18 Girls in the Pacific International School Games, 2017, conducted by the School Games Federation of India and the Delhi government. Negi was selected along with 14 other students, it said.
“The beach where Negi died is a notorious place for drowning and despite this, the officials of the respondents did not take any serious preventive steps to avoid tragedy and there were serious lapses from their side,” the plea said.
It said the family has sent a legal notice to the authorities seeking compensation, but no response has been received yet.
It sought direction to the Centre and Delhi government to conduct an inquiry into the lapses on the part of officials leading to the girl’s drowning in the foreign land and to take appropriate action against those found guilty.
The family also sought a compensation of Rs 35 crore or any other reasonable amount from the authorities.