Lakshya Sen, India’s highest ranked male badminton player, is in the eye of a storm of age fraud.
An FIR has been lodged by the coach of a badminton academy in Bengaluru alleging that Sen’s family in collusion with the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy reduced his age by three years to give him an unfair advantage in the junior circuit.
Besides Sen and his coach Vimal Kumar, police have named the player’s father, Dhirendra Sen, brother Chirag Sen, and mother Nirmala Sen in the FIR.
The police case has been registered under IPC Sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged record).
The complaint was filed by Nagaraja MG, who also runs a badminton academy in Bengaluru.
Sen, according to records, was born in 2001. Nagaraja claimed he was born in 1998.
According to the Badminton World Federation (BWF), Lakshya is currently 21 years old with a birth date of August 16, 2001. Chirag, on the other hand, is shown as 24 with a birth date of July 22, 1998.
This is not the first time there has been a complaint of a similar nature against the Sen family. In 2018, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had said that manipulation in birth certificates had been consciously done by the parents of Chirag Sen, Lakshya’s elder brother. Chirag had been barred from U17 badminton events by BAI following this.
“The manipulation has been done under false declaration by misusing the provisions of Section 13 of The Registration of Birth and Deaths Act, 1969 to make eligible their child to play in lower age groups and make better performance compared to their peers and a result got sponsorship/grants, etc from respective state govts/central govt/PSUs and other institutions and consequential benefits,” the report stated.
Lakshya Sen has been the poster boy of Indian badminton over the last year. In 2021, he became the youngest Indian to qualify for the BWF World Tour Finals.