Don`t fight over petty issues: HC tells BAI, players
Mumbai: Asking the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and players to abstain from fighting on petty issues and not let sports suffer, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed BAI to consider the entry of Jwala Gutta and Prajakta Sawant in the upcoming international tournaments.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A V Mohta was hearing a petition filed by 19-year-old Sawant, who had alleged mental harassment by chief national coach Pullela Gopichand after she was refused entry to the All India National Coaching Camp in Hyderabad.
Sawant had also alleged that Gopichand, being the chief national coach and a member of the selection committee of BAI, promoted players from his own private academy - Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy.
The bench was on Thursday informed by Sawant`s advocate that she had filed an application to the BAI seeking entry in the upcoming tournaments like German Open and All England Open Badminton Championships along with Jwala Gutta in the women`s doubles game.
BAI, however, told the court that players cannot directly approach them seeking entry and that the association with which the players are affiliated will have to forward the entry proposal.
In Gutta and Sawant`s case, the association is the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board.
Directing the BAI to consider the duo`s entry for the German Open and All England Open, the court said, "In the last six months she (Sawant) has not been allowed to participate in any tournament. Why do you (BAI) want to mar her career and the game. Why should players and authority fight like this. Only the sports is suffering."
The court also observed that the Sports Authority of India should look into the issue and resolve it.
"Since the last date to send entries for the upcoming tournaments is January 29 it would be impossible for the petitioner to get the proposal forwarded from her association. The BAI should consider Sawant and Gutta`s entry by the last date," the court directed.
The matter has been posted for further hearing on January 30.