Jockey Chouhan's "relatively satisfied", though appeal rejected
The judges, while making clear that the charge of questionable ride stays against Chouhan, however, suggested to the club's lawyers to reduce the six-month riding ban to three months, to which the race club agreed
The division bench of justices Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel rejected the appeal filed by jockey Pradeep Chouhan against the May 3 verdict which had upheld the punishment meted out by the stewards of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) for "not allowing the horse Lord Commander to run on merit" during the Mumbai races run on March 15, 2018.
The punishment was a year's suspension of his riding license, but later the board of appeal of the club, in a partial relief to Chouhan, split into two equal parts of six months, one to be undergone immediately and the other to be held in abeyance as long as the jockey rides to the rule book.
The judges, while making clear that the charge of questionable ride stays against Chouhan, however, suggested to the club's lawyers to reduce the six-month riding ban to three months, to which the race club agreed.
"Recently, in the Gallops restaurant case too the cub members had overwhelmingly voted in favour of a setttlement rather than a protracted legal battle in view of the financial situation getting further exacerbated," said a prominent club member who did not wish to be named, "I think this decision also reflects the same concern as otherwise the jockey (Chouhan) could have gone up to the supreme court."
When contacted by mid-day, Chouhan said, "I would have loved to clear my name, but then I must say I am relatively satisfied with the verdict because the sentence is reduced."
Chouhan's three-month suspension will start from July 25, the opening card of the forthcoming Pune racing season which, being of only three months, will be marked by his complete absence.
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