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Asian Para Games

Paralympian Palak Kohli drags fellow para shuttler to court for faking disability

Two para shuttlers have gone to court against Para Shuttler Vaishnavi Puneyani in alleged case of faking disability to play in Asian Para Games.

Paralympian Palak Kohli drags fellow para shuttler to court for faking disability

Pritish Raj

Updated: 21 Oct 2023 5:12 AM GMT

Paralympian Palak Kohli and her compatriot Jyoti Verma have filed a court case against para shuttler Vaishnavi Puneyani for allegedly faking her disability to get selected for the Asian Para Games on Friday.

In a writ petition filed in the Delhi High Court, petitioners Palak and Jyoti have accused Vaishnavi of forging her medical reports to earn a disability certificate and participate in the Asian Para Games.

The petition also alleged that despite several complaints regarding the forgery of her medical reports, the shuttler was selected for the Asian Para Games after the cut-off date of the selection.

The Bridge possesses a copy of the petition filed against Vaishnavi. According to the petition, she is not eligible to play under the 'Permanent Disability' rule issued by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

"The issue we are raising is significant as we play a sport for permanently disabled athletes. It is unfair that able-bodied players see fame and money in para-sports and think that they can get early success. They are trying to enter into Para-Badminton by manipulating the medical/disability documents," Palak Kohli told The Bridge from Hangzhou, China.

Clause 5.2.1 of the BWF rule book for Para-Badminton states, "Any player wishing to compete in a Para-Badminton governed by BWF must have an eligible impairment and that impairment must be permanent."

Taking clause 5.2.1 into consideration, the petition claimed that Vaishnavi's disability is temporary and she has forged the MRI report to prove her disability.

The petition also provided copies of fake and original reports of the MRI scan and an email from the diagnostic centre, proving that the MRI report submitted by Vaishnavi to authorities was fudged.

The Bridge tried reaching out to the concerned officials in the federation but there has been no response yet.

In the meantime, Vaishnavi will play in the SL4 event at the Asian Para Games, where Palak Kohli and Jyoti Verma will also compete.

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