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HC asks Maha to decide on badminton player Sawant’s job plea

SawantThe Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government to take a decision within a month on the badminton player Prajakta Sawant’s application for a job in the sports quota.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah passed the order during the hearing on a petition filed by the 20-year-old player, which also alleges ‘mental harassment’ by the chief national coach Pullela Gopichand.

Sawant, who moved the court after she was not selected for a national coaching camp in Hyderabad, has alleged that Gopichand, being a member of the Badminton Association of India’s selection committee, promoted players from his own Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy.

Her lawyer advocate Piyush Shah said that because of the issues raised by Sawant before the court, her application for job in the sports quota was not being considered by the Maharashtra government.

The court disposed of her application in this regard by directing the state to decide her plea within a month.

In another development, the High Court suggested that the Union Sports Ministry should look into the aspect of coaches running private academies and being a part of the national selection committees at the same time.

BAI lawyer Nimay Dave argued that Gopichand was not the first person to run a sports academy, nor does he take decision by himself in the selection committee as it has nine members, two of them government representatives.

Gopichand had been responsible for winning several awards and medals for the country and his academy too was nationally acclaimed,the lawyer said, adding that Sawant did not follow the rules and did not have good relations with her game partner.

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