High Court paves way for DDCA to hold India-SA Test

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 B D 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 3.

“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 is 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.

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 Thursday for the period from December 1 to December 10.

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

Mittal requested that court to 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.
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