Delhi High Court paves the way for DDCA hosting India-South Africa Test

In a respite for Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA), the Delhi High Court on Wednesday paved the way for holding of fourth cricket Test match of the India-South Africa series at Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium here from December 3 to 7. The Court directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue a provisional occupancy certificate for the venue.

While asking SDMC to issue the certificate by Thursday for the period from December 1 to 10, the Court directed DDCA to deposit Rs.50 lakh with the municipal body towards property tax dues within two weeks.

Disposing of DDCA’s writ petition, a Division Bench also appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal, a former Judge of Delhi High Court and former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, to oversee the affairs of the match. Justice Mudgal will be assisted in his assignment by an “accounts knowing person”, said the Court.

The Bench, comprising Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, made it clear that the DDCA was being given the “last opportunity” to get the necessary clearances from Delhi Urban Arts Commission and Archaeological Survey of India and no-objection certificate from Land and Development Office, as well as completion certificate from SDMC, by March 31.

The Court also said that its directions were without prejudice to the petitioner vis-a-vis the issue of payment of entertainment tax, which was pending before another Bench of the High Court.

“We do not want to penalise the players and cricket-loving public by not allowing DDCA to host the match,” observed the Bench, while clarifying that the appointment of observer was meant to ensure that the DDCA takes earnest steps to get requisite clearances.

SDMC counsel Gaurang Kant pointed out to the Court that the DDCA had obtained interim relief 13 times in the past, despite not making any effort to get the requisite clearances.

While DDCA counsel Sunil Mittal told the Court that the cricket body had been paying property tax and had recently paid Rs.50 lakh, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Delhi government which was not a party in the case, made an intervention saying that the Court should also address other issues relating to DDCA’s affairs, about which a probe report had arrived at certain findings.

Former cricketer and BJP MP from Darbhanga, Kirti Azad, had also intervened in the hearing on Tuesday and pointed out that “financial irregularities” in DDCA were being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Registrar of Companies.

The DDCA will pay remuneration to Justice Mudgal for his assignment as an observer, according to the Court order. The Court also said that the issuance of provisional occupancy certificate by SDMC would be subject to the no-objection certificates by the Delhi Fire Service and Power Department and an understanding that DDCA would be responsible for any non-compliance with the disaster management norms.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 1:45:22 PM |

Next Story