Badminton guru Pullela Gopichand’s dual function as chief national coach and owner of India’s foremost training academy came in for adverse remarks from the Bombay High Court Monday with two judges stating that he should not be performing those dual roles in the interest of justice and fairness.
“Ethically, a coach who also heads the selection panel, should not run a private academy. He may be a good coach. We are not saying otherwise. But in the interests of justice and fairness, a national coach, who is also a part of the selection panel, should not run a private camp,” chief justice Mohit Shah and justice A V Mohta said.
The court’s remarks came while hearing a petition filed by a badminton player, 19-year-old Prajakta Sawant, who alleged “mental harassment” by Gopichand and refusal of entry into the All-India National Coaching Camp held in his academy in Hyderabad.
Directing the petitioner to include the Badminton Association of India (BAI) as a respondent in the petition, the judges sought the authority’s reply to the petition when the next hearing is held on December 19.