BAI forms three-member panel to look into Jwala case
New Delhi: Faced with criticism from former and current shuttlers for recommending disproportionate punishment on Jwala Gutta, the Badminton Association of India on Monday decided to appoint a three-member independent committee to further look into the matter.
Asking the panel to submit a report within a month, the BAI said till that time Jwala, who will be served another showcause notice, will not be considered for any national or international matches.
In a surprise decision, the BAI`s disciplinary committee recommended a life ban on Jwala for trying to stop some players of her franchise Krrish Delhi Smashers from playing a match against Banga Beats in the recent Indian Badminton League. The Disciplinary Committee had left the final decision to the president.
"Instead of taking action on his own, President BAI in consultation with the members of Executive Committee, BAI has decided to constitute an independent three member committee for issuing a further showcause notice to Ms Jwala Gutta for seeking her reply within a week on the punishments proposed by the Disciplinary Committee in order to satisfy the principles of natural justice and take final decision on the proposed punishments within a month," BAI General Secretary Dr Vijai Sinha said in a statement.
The three member committee comprises Anandeshwar Pandey, Joint Secretary Indian Olympic Association and General Secretary UP Olympic Association, Deepa Mehta, President Luge Federation of India and Swati Shukla, a social worker and former member of Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
Jwala has been asked to reply to the showcause notice within seven days.
"The Committee is hereby constituted for issuing a further showcause notice to Ms Jwala Gutta for seeking her reply within a week on the punishments proposed and after affording an appropriate opportunity for hearing, including her personal hearing if so requested, in order to take final decision on the proposed punishment," Sinha said in the release.
"Till the submission of the report in this regard by the aforesaid committee, the name of Ms Jwala Gutta shall not be considered by the Selection Committee, BAI for participation in any international tournament inside or outside India," the statement added.
A controversy had erupted during the August 25 tie when Delhi Smashers threatened to pull out against Banga Beats over the last-minute replacement of injured singles player, Hu Yun of Hong Kong with Denmark's Jan Jorgensen.
As an icon player of Delhi Smashers, Jwala was involved in the matter, which was resolved after Beats finally left out Jorgensen and played Arvind Bhat, who was already part of the team. Jwala was then served a 14-day show cause notice by BAI for her conduct during the tie, which was delayed by half an hour.
Former and current players like Arvind Bhat, K T Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas have described the BAI Disciplinary Committee's recommendation of life ban on Jwala as "ridiculous and harsh".
Jwala's father Kranti also said today that his daughter would seek legal recourse and fight the case.