Spend more time on badminton court: HC tells shuttler Sawant

The Bombay High Court today asked shuttler Prajakta Sawant who had levelled allegations of mental harassment against India's chief national coach Pullela Gopichand to improve her performance on badminton court to make herself eligible for selection in the core Indian team.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a petition filed by the 19-year-old shuttler last year alleging harassment by Gopichand and that she was left out of the All India National Coaching Camp in Hyderabad at his behest.

She further alleged that Gopichand being the national coach and a member of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) selection committee he promoted players from his own private academy, Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, and she was being targeted.

BAI counsel Nimay Dave today informed the court that Sawant had performed poorly in recently held Syed Modi tournament in Lucknow due to which she was not selected in the All England Open and German Open events.

"Now start spending more time on the badminton court instead of here (high court). This litigation cannot go on and on. We need to put an end to this," chief justice Shah said.
Sawant's counsel Piyush Shah pleaded with court to give another hearing to the petitioner saying selection process for other Indian tournaments would be underway soon.
The court then posted the matter on February 10.

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