HC moots compromise formula in Sawant case

Seeking a compromise formula, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to consider whether it would bear the expenses for participation of shuttler Prajakta Sawant in international tournaments.

The court said that pursuant to BAI’s reply, it might advise Sawant to withdraw her allegations against national coach Pullela Gopichand and BAI. The matter was adjourned to February 1. A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A V Mohta was hearing a petition filed by Sawant against Gopichand after she was denied entry to national coaching camp at Gopichand’s academy in Hyderabad.

Sawant had also submitted an application to BAI, seeking an entry in the forthcoming international tournaments such as German Open and All England Open Badminton Championships.

BAI told the court she had been included in the squads for international tournaments. However, she would have to bear her expenses for accommodation and travel as she had made an application directly to BAI and not through her association.

The lawyer, appearing for Sawant, contended the association was still trying to hamper her career as she would not be able to get the funds.

Gopichand’s lawyer said Sawant had made several allegations against the persons she had worked with. He also alleged Sawant and her father had “harassed” Gopichand and his mother on several occasions.

He contended Gopichand could insist on an inquiry against her but does not want to spoil her career and demanded that Sawant withdraw her petition. The court then asked BAI to consider funding her and further said it will ask Sawant to withdraw her petition.

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