December 6, 2021 7:12:35 pm
The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre and Army to explain how an independent sports body was functioning from the land belonging to the defence forces at Delhi Cantonment.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Rajasthan Equestrian Association with regard to its disputes against the Equestrian Foundation of India when it came across the address showing that the latter was functioning from ‘B Squadron, 61 Cavalry, Cariappa Marg, Delhi Cantt’.
“The Indian Army has to show that they are permitted to do that. I was taken by surprise because I was only looking at the memo of parties. This is something I would not normally expect,” said Justice Rekha Palli, while listing the matter for hearing on December 9.
The court further said how it can happen unless the land has been taken on lease. “If you have taken it on rent, we will then see. How has the Indian Army also done so. I don’t want to implead Chief of Army Staff [as party in the case] but if I have to, I will do that. How is the Army permitting them. Get the instructions from the topmost person,” it said, while addressing the counsels representing the central government.
It noted in the order that the sports body is a recognised national sports federation under the National Sports Code. “It has been put to learned counsel for the [Federation] and [Centre] as to how an independent body is functioning on Army land. Mr Kirtiman Singh and [Ajay] Digpaul, appearing on behalf of the respondents, respectively, pray for time to seek instructions. On the next date, a competent officer from the Indian Army will also remain present through videoconferencing,” said the court.
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