SC sets its sights to clean badminton of political interference

The Supreme Court of India admitted a plea submitted by a Delhi resident to clean top badminton body of 'political interference' just like in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The Supreme Court  admitted a petition to oust Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma and other “active politicians” from the helm of Badminton Association of India (BAI).

The Supreme Court on Monday admitted a petition to oust Assam minister and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma and other “active politicians” from the helm of Badminton Association of India (BAI).

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra issued notice to the Centre, BAI and Sarma on the petition filed by Delhi resident, Kamlesh Verma, to make badminton free of political interference.

The petition asks the apex court to take a leaf from the Justice Lodha committee recommendation in the BCCI case. Justice Lodha's reform to ban political ministers from occupying position in the apex cricket body was upheld by the Supreme Court. 

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Verma, represented by senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and advocate Rohit Singh, said the same ban should uniformly apply to all sporting associations, especially badminton. “The petitioner is seeking directions to supersede the present office-bearers of the Badminton Association of India with immediate effect and appoint in their place a panel/ committee of administrators, as done in the case of BCCI, to ensure the smooth functioning of the Association,” the petition said.

On Sarma, the petition said he, besides being a minister, has no qualification to hold the top post in BAI.  “He has never been badminton player at any level and thus, he has no connection whatsoever with the sports of badminton,” Bhushan submitted.

The petition said Sarma is facing corruption charges too. “One of them is relating to Saradha Chit Fund Scam in which he had been summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Unit set up by the Supreme Court and his house was raided by the CBI,” the petition said.