India vs South Africa: Feroz Shah Kotla gets green-light to host fourth Test as DDCA gets interim relief from HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday paved the way for DDCA to hold the upcoming fourth India-South Africa test match at Ferozshah Kotla stadium and directed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to issue the provisional occupancy certificate.

A bench headed by Justice BD Ahmed observed that it does not want to penalise the players and cricket-loving public by not allowing the DDCA to host the match and appointed Justice Mukul Mudgal to oversee the affairs of the upcoming test to be held from December three.

"Without going into the merit of the matter, it would be appropriate that an observer is appointed to oversee the affairs of test match and to ensure that DDCA takes requisite steps for compliance of order. In our view, Justice Mukul Mudgal will the appropriate person. Accordingly, we request Justice Mudgal to accept the assignment," the bench said.

It said that Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) is being given the last opportunity to get all necessary clearances from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and no objection certificate from Land and Development Office (L&DO) and completion certificate from South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) by March 31.

 India vs South Africa: Feroz Shah Kotla gets green-light to host fourth Test as DDCA gets interim relief from HC

File photo of the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. Getty

The bench asked the cricket association to deposit Rs 50 lakh within two weeks with SDMC towards the property tax dues.

It directed the SDMC to issue the provisional occupancy certificate to DDCA by tomorrow for the period from December 1 to December 10.

During the hearing, advocate Sunil Mittal appearing for DDCA said that the association have been paying the property tax to the civic body and recently it had paid Rs 50 lakh.

Mittal requested that court may appoint an observer to oversee the affairs of test match and assured that all compliances will be done.

Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan appearing for Delhi government, which was not the party in the case, intervened and said that something is wrong in the DDCA and the government has the probe report.

Krishnan also suggested that a retired judge of High Court could be appointed as an observer to oversee the affairs and revenue of DDCA.

The court said it can appoint the observer but cannot ask him to look after the revenue of DDCA or the payment of property or entertainment tax.

Observing that there has to be meaningful oversight by the observer or else no purpose will be served, the bench said that Justice Mudgal will be free to have the assistance of any person having knowledge of accounts.

Justice Mukul Mudgal, a former Delhi High Court judge, headed the Supreme Court appointed committee to inquire into the allegations of corruption against former BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, and others and allegations of betting and spot-fixing in 2013 IPL matches.

It said that remuneration of Justice Mudgal for the assignment will be decided by him only and DDCA will pay the same to him.

During the hearing in the matter on Tuesday, former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad had told the court that DDCA should not be allowed to hold the test match alleging that the cricketing body was an "illegal squatter".

Azad had also alleged that a lot of "bungling of finances" has taken place at DDCA which was being investigated by the CBI and Registrar of Companies.

DDCA has moved the court for the interim relief as the SDMC had on Monday evening rejected their application for a no-objection certificate or POC to hold the match.

SDMC had told the court there was no provision under the law to issue a provisional occupancy certificate and said DDCA had got an interim relief from the court 13 times in the past, despite not making any effort to obtain the requisite clearances.

The court, however, questioned how SDMC sanctioned construction of the stadium if it had received no NOC from L&DO.

In April this year, the court had allowed DDCA to hold IPL matches between April 12 to May 1 at the Ferozeshah Kotla grounds by asking SDMC to issue a POC to the association.

DDCA was given a similar relief by the court on September 30 last year to hold a one-day match between India and West Indies at the stadium on October 11, 2015.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2015 09:42:26 IST