Under-fire shuttler Jwala Gutta moves court to fight threat of life ban

Embattled shuttler Jwala Gutta on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court against the Badminton Association of India (BAI) after its disciplinary committee recommended a life ban on her for an alleged code of conduct breach in the Indian Badminton League.

"We decided to go ahead with legal action in the case and accordingly filed a petition in the Delhi High Court today," Jwala's father Kranti Gutta told PTI.

The petition came before Justice V K Jain who posted it for hearing tomorrow. 

Jwala Gutta
Jwala Gutta

Gutta has sought quashing of the October 7 order, where BAI had ruled out considering Jwala for selection in any international events in the next one month, pending a decision by the three-member committee that was formed on Monday by President Akhilesh Das Gupta. It means the Commonwealth Games gold medallist won't be able to play in Denmark and French Open. 

"The order has been issued in violation of settled principles of natural justice and fairness without giving her a hearing. "A direction is to be issued to respondent 1 (Sports Ministry) to seek an independent report of the incident and to put in place an independent regulatory mechanism to oversee the functioning of decision making process of BAI in the absence of proper procedure," her plea said. 

Gutta also sought quashing of the life ban recommendation of the BAI disciplinary committee. Gutta alleged that the association's approach was "pre- determined" and has been taken to single out her.

She further alleged that BAI's decision will affect her right to live with dignity. 

Jwala's coach Syed Mohammad Arif had advised the top shuttler to file a defamation suit against BAI for going to press without issuing her a ban notice. 

The Sports Minister Jitendra Singh also said that he can look into Jwala's dispute with the BAI if she approaches him. 

With the BAI mounting pressure, Jwala had a series of meetings yesterday with her IBL franchise Krrish Delhi Smashers and lawyers here to chalk out the next course of action.

The three-member disciplinary panel comprises Indian Olympic Association (IOA) joint secretary Anandeshwar Pandey, Luge Federation of India president Deepa Mehta and Swati Shukla, a former associate of the Commonwealth Games Organising committee. The committee is awaiting an answer from Jwala within a week. 

The Controversy

The 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.

Gutta, who was the Krrish Delhi Smashers' icon player, had threatened to forfeit their last league tie in Bangalore during an Indian Badminton League (IBL) match against Banga Beats on August 25. 

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