The uncertainty over whether a semifinal match in the ongoing World T20 will be played in Delhi continues, with a single bench of the Delhi High court on Monday declining to pass orders on a fresh plea filed by the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA)to use the RP Mehra block in the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. The case will now be heard before a division bench on Tuesday.
The DDCA approached the High Court in a writ petition seeking orders for the SDMC to issue a completion certificate for the RP Mehra block, claiming that the “unauthorized” structure inside the stadium can be said to have been “regularized” under the provisions of the Government of National Capital territory of Delhi (Special laws) Act of 2011.
“The act provides for regularisation of the structure which does not have proper sanction plan,” says the plea, filed through advocate Sangram Patnaik.
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During brief arguments before the bench of justice AK Pathak, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi and Rajiv Nayyar, appearing for the DDCA also argued that the “grievance” of the cricketing body was “against the view taken by Justice Mudgal” who had said that the RP Mehra block should not be used for the Match.
The lawyers have argued that the RP Mehra /Old clubhouse block cannot be called “unauthorized” as it was built in 1996, and thus came under protection of the Special laws Act. The ICC in a letter to BCCI on March 17 had taken the stand that if clearance for the block was not obtained, the match would have to be transferred to another city, as they “need a clear confirmation” that the “entire structure including the old club house” will be available to hold the match. Justice Pathak, however, noted that he “cannot give permission to hold matches” unless the completion certificate is granted by the SDMC.
Meanwhile, the plea was opposed by both the SDMC counsel Harsh Pichara and Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra, who said the DDCA could not have filed such a plea, and was “misusing the law.” The governmnet lawyers also said the DDCA was “forum shopping” since the division bench had already taken up the issue of the RP Mehra block and had refused to interfere. On March 8, the bench had asked Justice Mukul Mudgal, who had been appointed to oversee the functioning of the
DDCA, to take a decision on the RP Mehra block, and Mudgal in a letter to the DDCA had suggested that since the clearance for the block was not available, it should not be made available for paid seats, and could be used for seating media and broadcasters.
Justice Pathak has transferred the matter to the division bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vibhu Bakhru, which has been hearing the Kotla issue.