Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N M Jamdar allowed her to attend the camp, and directed Sports Authority of India (SAI) to ensure that selection for three upcoming international tournaments this month is based on merit.
Sawant, a B.Com first year student who is ranked 48 in the world in women’s doubles, said in her petition that Gopichand had told her she could not come to the academy after she asked for a different set of doubles and mixed doubles training partners for the October 4 to December 12 camp.
“On August 22, 2012, the petitioner (Sawant) had informed by email to Respondent No. 1 (Gopichand) that the petitioner is not comfortable playing with the mixed doubles and women’s doubles partners. However, Respondent No. 1 made wild allegations against the petitioner that she was not serious about badminton,” the petition said.
Sawant said Gopichand had told her by phone that she would not be allowed to join the camp until further notice, and an inquiry by a disciplinary committee. Her lawyer Piyush Shah said the young shuttler did not know why she would have to face an inquiry.
Gopichand is in Bahrain, and was not available for a comment. BAI general secretary Vijay Sinha said he was not aware of Sawant’s petition.
Sawant accused Gopichand of ruining several careers, and urged the court to order an inquiry against him and restrain him from sending teams for the China Open Super Series on November 13, Hong Kong Open Super Series on November 20 and Macau Grand Prix Gold on November 27.
“The petitioner apprehends that her career will be ruined as already (her) career in singles was ruined because of Respondent No. 1,” the petition said. Sawant alleged Gopichand “discriminates (between) players from different states”, and “is always trying to select players from his own state and academy for his own interests”.
Former national champion and member of the national selection committee U Vimal Kumar said entries for Super Series are based on international rankings. “She’s a good player; we can’t ignore her. But partners are decided by the national coach, and depend on the pair’s comfort level.”
Sawant last played doubles in the national championships with Trupti Murgunde, and mixed doubles with Manu Atri. But in June, she partnered Pradnya Gadre for three international circuit tournaments. Gadre is currently partnering Ashwini Ponappa, after Jwala Gutta chose to take a break.
In mixed doubles, Sawant is ranked 100, listed alongside Pranav Chopda.
Counsel for SAI Rajiv Chavan told the court that BAI should be made a party in the case. “The chief coach has no power as such. He is only consulted when players are selected,” Chavan said.
Who is Prajakta Sawant? And why is a negative comment immediately passed the moment any player raises an issue.
Everyone in badminton knows what Gopi is really capable of. Prajakta Sawant beware
Why is the national coaching camp at Gopichand%u2019s academy in Hyderabad. Don't we have a better option. Why should it be outsourced to one person's academy. This is a monopolistic practice. He will obviously manipulate everything. Its hard to find non-biased coaches now a days.