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SC props shuttle outfit

The Supreme Court has reinstated the Jharkhand Badminton Association (JBA), four months after Jharkhand High Court suspended its functioning over an election controversy.

Hearing a special leave petition filed by then former JBA secretary K. Prabhakar Rao, an apex court Bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice J. Chelameswar, in its order on September 24, stayed the ruling of the high court. It has given two weeks to the respondents to file counter-affidavits.

The JBA had made an appeal against the high court’s May 14 order, which stopped functioning of the existing body and directed fresh elections within three months under the supervision of the inspector-general (registration). The court had also ruled that the Jamshedpur subdivisional officer would look after the functioning of JBA till the polls were held.

The order had come after Godda District Badminton Association secretary Gyanendra Narayan filed a petition in the high court, challenging the JBA elections held on November 28, 2010. Narayan had claimed that the polling didn’t follow the rule book.

Welcoming the recent apex court order, Rao said it had vindicated their position and would signal a positive development for state badminton. “We waited for more than three months for the JBA polls to be conducted in accordance with the high court order, but nothing moved. So, I approached the Supreme Court for justice,” he said.

Rao was supposed to take charge as secretary from SDO Subodh Kumar on Tuesday afternoon, but the latter did not turn up.

The bespectacled JBA secretary said the game had suffered a lot because of “unnecessary controversies” and now the time had come to take corrective measures.

“Our top priority will be to open the training channel for young shuttlers who were in a confused state because of what happened in the past. The shuttlers were not in a position to approach anyone for proper training. Coaching camps will now be conducted on regular basis,” Rao, who is also joint secretary of the Badminton Federation of India (BAI), told The Telegraph.

He said joint efforts would also be made with the government to set up a badminton academy in Ranchi.

Rao claimed that “disgruntled elements” in the Jamshedpur District Badminton Association (JDBA) were baying for his blood. “There are at least four people in JDBA who are planning to assault me. I have lodged an FIR against one with Bistupur police,” he said, refusing to take names.

He, however, minced no words to blame senior JDBA functionary Sarvesh Khanna for problems plaguing state badminton. “Khanna never wanted an amicable settlement between the two warring groups (read JBA and JDBA). I had approached him for talks, but he always mislead badminton higher-ups,” he said.