CJ treats petition filed by ex-Ranji player as PIL

Restricting MA Stadium for only cricket challenged

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 23: Chief Justice of J&K High Court Justice Gita Mittal has treated a petition filed by ex-Ranji player Prof (Dr) Ashutosh Sharma as a Public Interest Litigation and has directed the Registry to list the same as per roster.
The former Ranji player/Retd Physical Director from J&K Higher Education Department has sought directions to the President J&K Sports Council, Commissioner/Secretary Department of Youth Services and Sports and Secretary J&K State Sports Council to allow all sports activities of various disciplines in newly renovated Maulana Azad Stadium, Jammu and not to restrict its use for cricket only.
The petitioner has also sought the directions for utilizing the MA Stadium Jammu for cricket during cricket season and simultaneously the stadium be thrown open for other sports disciplines like Athletics, Football, Hockey, Kabbadi, Kho-Kho and various other warming up activities which were going on in the stadium ever since its establishment.
In the petition filed through Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, it has been submitted that MA Stadium Jammu was established about six decades back with the object to promote multi discipline sports activities including Cricket and was branded as a Multipurpose Stadium.
Recently Government decided to renovate MA Stadium for holding International Events/Matches of Cricket thereby depriving the players of other games from using the stadium without first creating/ establishing adequate alternate infrastructure for those disciplines thus causing immense loss to the youngsters who are huge in number from various games and are exploiting their talent in various games from the MA. Stadium, reads the petition.
“Presently the players are not allowed to enter the stadium and there is a reasonable apprehension amongst the players from various games including the various Sports Associations that after completion of the renovation work the players of other games will not be allowed to enter and utilize MA Stadium and its facilities for promotion of their sports”, the petitioner said, adding “the apprehension of the players is quite genuine as the funds worth crores of rupees are being spent and those undertaking renovation are openly claiming that the stadium is being renovated on International Standards for holding National/ International Cricket Matches and no other sports activity will be allowed”.
In the petition it has further been submitted that the petitioner served a comprehensive Legal Notice on April 8, 2019 upon the President J&K Sports Council, Advisor concerned, Commis-sioner/Secretary Department of Youth Services and Sports and Secretary J&K State Sports Council requesting them not to restrict the use of newly renovated MA Stadium for cricket only and to allow other disciplines in the stadium till adequate infrastructure is created in Jammu city for other games.
The notice did not evoke any response and the petitioner has been left with no other option except to knock the doors of the High Court.

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