In what would come as some relief for embattled shuttler Jwala Gutta, who is facing a life ban for alleged disciplinary breach, Sports Minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said that he can look into her dispute with the Badminton Association of India if she approaches him. (Related read: Jwala Gutta meets Delhi Smashers and lawyers to plan action)
"Does she want the Sports Ministry to intervene into the matter? Well, I haven't received any formal application from Jwala. But if she approaches us, then we will definitely look into the matter. We will hear her case," Singh told PTI here.
In a surprise decision, BAI's disciplinary committee recommended a life ban on Jwala for trying to stop some players of her franchise Krrish Delhi Smashers from playing a match against Banga Beats in the recent Indian Badminton League. The BAI has demanded an "unconditional apology" from the feisty shuttler to reconsider her case. (Read: Former players criticise ban)
BAI has ruled out considering Jwala for selection in any international events in the next one month, pending a decision by the three-member committee that was formed on Monday by President Akhilesh Das Gupta.
Jwala's father, Kranti Gutta, had yesterday said they are weighing all options and hoped the Sports Ministry takes suo moto notice of the issue.
Singh said he will call the Commonwealth Games gold medallist to the ministry's office only when she makes a formal request.
"We have not been approached by anyone. Let me first receive her request and then I'll meet her," he added.
The three-member BAI panel comprises Indian Olympic Association joint secretary Anandeshwar Pandey, Luge Federation of India president Deepa Mehta and Swati Shukla, a former associate of the CWG Organising committee.
The committee is awaiting a response from Jwala within a week. The controversy had erupted during the August 25 tie when Delhi Smashers threatened to pull out against Banga Beats over the last-minute replacement of injured singles player, Hu Yun of Hong Kong, with Denmark's Jan Jorgensen.
Jwala, however, has decided to stay mum on the issue.