HC asks BAI to consider wild card entry for male player

Published on Aug 16, 2022 10:37 PM IST

The HC suggestion was prompted after BAI officials committed many errors, leading to his name being excluded from the list of eligible male players

The player, Prathamesh Kulkarni, had sought urgent hearing and relief as the procedure for including names of eligible players for the India Junior International Grand Prix 2022 was to end by 5 pm on Monday (HT Photo)
The player, Prathamesh Kulkarni, had sought urgent hearing and relief as the procedure for including names of eligible players for the India Junior International Grand Prix 2022 was to end by 5 pm on Monday (HT Photo)
ByK A Y Dodhiya

Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of Bombay high court conducted a special hearing on August 15 and directed the Badminton Association of India (BAI) to consider granting a wild card entry to an 18-year-old player to enable him to participate in an international tournament, to be held in Pune from August 30.

The HC suggestion was prompted after BAI officials committed many errors, leading to his name being excluded from the list of eligible male players. The player, Prathamesh Kulkarni, had sought urgent hearing and relief as the procedure for including names of eligible players for the India Junior International Grand Prix 2022 was to end by 5 pm on Monday.

The division bench of justice Ravindra Ghuge and justice Arun Pednekar, hearing the petition by Kulkarni, was informed by advocates Amol Joshi and Sanket Jadhav that though their client had filled the participant’s application form within time, his name did not appear in the eligible male player list. On inquiry and electronic communications, he learnt that his name was erroneously included in the female player list. There was a mistake in his birth date as well.

The advocates submitted that though Kulkarni’s name was removed from the female list it was not included in the male list. The court was informed that Kulkarni could not be faulted as he had submitted his online application with correct details well before the deadline and due to the mistakes by BAI, his name was not in the list of qualified male players for the Pune event.

In light of these submissions, Kulkarni sought direction to BAI to generate a new and accurate BWF ID, which would enable him to participate in the Pune event.

After hearing the submissions, the court observed that the petitioner’s application for the Pune and Nagpur events was made prior to the August 2 deadline and contents including name, date of birth, gender and ranking were correctly uploaded by him.

Considering this, the bench stated, “Repeated mistakes committed by respondent BAI led to the said error and now the application of the petitioner is being treated to have been withdrawn... It is clear that the petitioner cannot be faulted... we hold that if there is no impediment, the petitioner would be entitled to play at Pune from August 30 by giving him a wild card entry, if permissible. However, this would be subject to the policies or guidelines of Badminton Asia/BWF,” the bench held.

The bench added that as per the affidavit by BAI, if Kulkarni missed the Pune tournament his entry would be forwarded to participate in another tournament -- India Maharashtra International Challenge -- to be held from September 13 to 18 in Nagpur.

The bench then warned the BAI not to make any further mistake with regards to the petitioner and disposed of the petition.

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