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Rediff.com  » Sports » Delhi HC passes stay-order against life-ban on Jwala Gutta

Delhi HC passes stay-order against life-ban on Jwala Gutta

Last updated on: October 10, 2013 14:38 IST

The Delhi high court has asked the Badminton Association of India to allow ace Indian shuttler Jwala Gutta to participate in upcoming tournaments till the disciplinary authority takes a final decision on the issue of her alleged indiscipline.

Justice V K Jain allowed Gutta's plea and said, "I am of the view that you (BAI) must allow her to play in the tournament."

However, the court said a detailed order will be passed on her plea later in the day.

The court also observed that till a final view is taken by the committee, she should be allowed to take part in tournaments.

The two upcoming badminton tournaments in which Gutta was to participate are the Denmark Open, scheduled from October 15 to 20, and French Open, from October 22 to 27.

The BAI, however, on Wednesday, withdrew Gutta and her doubles partner, Ashwini Ponnappa, from the Denmark Open.

The BAI's disciplinary committee has recommended a life ban on Gutta for trying to stop some players of her franchise, Krrish Delhi Smashers, from playing a match against Banga Beats in the Indian Badminton League in August.

Jwala GuttaGutta approached the high court challenging the decision to recommend a life ban on her for alleged indiscipline in the IBL.

Appearing for Gutta, advocate Gopal Jain argued that the manner in which the association is behaving towards her is completely arbitrary and misuse of power.

"You have to treat a sportswoman with dignity," he said.

Countering his arguments, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan submitted that for past few years her performance has dropped and there is nothing wrong in the decision taken by BAI's committing.

"If she admits that she has committed a mistake or tenders an apology, she will be allowed to play," Bhushan said.

Gutta has sought quashing of the October 7 order, where the BAI ruled out considering Jwala for selection in any international event in the next month, pending a decision by the three-member committee that was formed on Monday.

Jwala said in the plea, "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."

She has sought quashing of the life ban recommendation of the BAI disciplinary committee.

Gutta has alleged that the association's approach was "pre-determined" and has been taken to single her out.

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

Controversy erupted during the August 25 tie when Delhi Smashers had allegedly 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 Jorgense.

Gutta is India's leading doubles player. She won a World Championship bronze and Commonwealth Games gold medal, partnering Ashwini Ponappa.

Image: Jwala Gutta

Photograph: Arko Datta/Reuters