Delhi High Court gives DDCA 20-day lifeline

Delhi High Court gives DDCA 20-day lifeline

DDCA assured the HC bench that it could complete all outstanding work within 20 days and give an undertaking to SDMC.

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With each passing day, Ferozshah Kotla’s World 20 prospects are getting bleaker. (Source: Express file)

Following the South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s (SDMC) decision to grant completion certificate to the Ferozshah Kotla to host World T20 matches if all formalities are completed by the month end, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Tuesday withdrew its plea in high court seeking direction to the civic body to grant the same.

During a brief hearing before the bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vibhu Bakhru, the counsel for SDMC informed the court about the resolution passed by the civic body to grant occupancy certificate to the DDCA if it completes all pending work within 20 days and deposits Rs 50 lakh as security. Advocate Gaurang Kanth, appearing for SDMC, also told the court that in case the DDCA fails to complete the formalities within the stipulated time, the security deposit would be forfeited.

In response, the DDCA assured the bench that it could complete all outstanding work within 20 days and also agreed to give an undertaking to the SDMC. The bench was initially reluctant to accept the proposal as it feared that in the event the DDCA fails to complete the work in time, it would return to the court with yet another plea seeking direction to the SDMC to grant the association permission to host matches without completing the necessary works.

“We don’t want any further litigation. Therefore, you have to comply within 20 days, otherwise no matches will be allowed,” the bench said. “After 20 days, you (the DDCA) should not come and say they (SDMC) are illegally withholding the occupancy certificate or you need any modification to the earlier order. It should not happen,” the bench said.


The bench also said the DDCA would have to complete the remaining work and no match can be held under “unsafe circumstances”. “The BCCI will have to take the risk on whatever is going on in the matter. Involve BCCI in this and send it the resolution and the order of the court,” the bench suggested, following which it gave the DDCA an hour to consider the issue and give its response. When the hearing resumed, the DDCA informed the court that it wanted to withdraw the application in the wake of the SDMC resolution.

The DDCA had sought directions to the SDMC to issue it an occupancy certificate to hold matches of upcoming T20 World Cup at Ferozshah Kotla stadium in March this year. In its plea, the cricket body had said that it has been granted a NOC from L&DO for getting occupancy or completion certificate from SDMC. The high court on November 18, 2015, while allowing the DDCA to hold the India-South Africa Test at Kotla, had directed it to obtain all clearances and NOCs from local authorities, including L&DO, by March 31 this year. On Monday, the bench had refused to issue any interim order, and had said there was “no such thing” as a “temporary final completion certificate.” The bench had also made it clear that the safety of the spectators was “most important.”

The application by the DDCA had been filed in the main issue which dates back to 2011 when the DDCA filed a plea against a property tax assessment made by the SDMC with regard to the stadium.

Kirti plea dismissed

Meanwhile, a different bench of the Delhi High court dismissed the plea filed by former cricketers including Kirti Azad and Bishan Singh Bedi seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into the allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption in the DDCA. The plea had alleged that the probe would not be fair as “some of the accused” were “highly placed” and could influence the probe.

During the hearing before the bench of Justice Manmohan, additional solicitor general NK Kaul, however, argued that the CBI has registered a preliminary inquiry in the case. The bench agreed to dismiss the plea, observing that it was “premature” and “not maintainable.”