Gutta gets HC relief, BAI told to let her contest tournaments

A day after she sought relief against the decision of Badminton Association of India (BAI) to recommend a life ban on her, the Delhi High Court has said that Jwala Gutta should be allowed to play tournaments until the official body's probe is completed.

The court has allowed Gutta to play tournaments till the BAI inquiry is completed into the matter, CNN-IBN reported.

Gutta's name had been withdrawn from the Denmark Open by the BAI after the body was imposed a life ban on her over her conduct during the Indian Badminton League. Despite the court's order she will not be able to contest the tournament.

Gutta has protested against the life ban. AFP

Gutta has protested against the life ban. AFP

Speaking about the court's order today, Gutta's counsel Rahul Mehra told CNN-IBN, "The court said a life ban cannot be imposed without giving an opportunity for the person to be heard."

"There is a clear vindictive and  political motive behind this decision," he added.

The BAI's disciplinary committee 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 this year.

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

"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.

A controversy had 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.

Last week, BAI's disciplinary committee had recommended a life-ban on Gutta, India's leading doubles players who has won a world championship bronze and Commonwealth Games gold medal partnering Ashwini Ponappa.

with inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Oct 10, 2013 13:10 PM

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