Conduct of international, IPL matches at MA Stadium
JAMMU, Nov 28: In the Public Interest Litigation filed by former Ranji player Prof Ashutosh Sharma seeking directions to the UT administration to allow all sports activities in newly renovated Maulana Azad Stadium, Jammu, Division Bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sindhu Sharma has issued notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) returnable on February, 3, 2021.
When the PIL came up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed appearing for the petitioner submitted that pursuant to the directions of the Division Bench dated August 27, 2019 the J&K Sports Council has passed an order No.SC/Legal/14 dated December 26, 2019 wherein it has been submitted that due to renovation/ upgradation of M A Stadium Ground, Jammu not even a single game has been disturbed and only the ground which was previously used for cricket activities has been upgraded and designed at par with the BCCI norms available in the country for conducting International/IPL matches for which the funds have already been invested.
Advocate Ahmed further drew the attention of the Division Bench to fresh application moved by the petitioner seeking impleadment of BCCI on the ground that in view of the stand taken by J&K Sports Council, the BCCI is required to be impleaded as party respondent in the PIL which is the supreme body for conducting/ organizing International/IPL matches in the country.
“J&K Sports Council in their consideration order have not disclosed as to when BCCI team visited M A Stadium Jammu and approved it for International/IPL matches”, he said, adding “only BCCI can apprise the Division Bench about the satisfaction of norms by the J&K Sports Council while renovating/ upgrading M A Stadium as more than Rs 50 crore have been spent for renovation/upgradation of stadium”.
On the other hand, Advocate Anshuja Tak appearing for J&K Sports Council vehemently resisted the contentions of Advocate Ahmed and submitted that in view of the order dated December 26, 2019 issued by J&K Sports Council nothing survives in the present PIL as the grievance projected in the PIL has been redressed and it has been clearly laid down in the said order that most of the games in addition to cricket are being practiced in the outer premises of M A Stadium.
However, Advocate Ahmed submitted as to why the J&K Sports Council is shy of the impleadment of BCCI as party respondent in the instant PIL. “It is only BCCI who can throw light as to whether the M A Stadium Ground has been designed at par with the BCCI norms and when International/ IPL matches will be played”, he added.
After considering the heated arguments from both the sides, the Division Bench issued notice to the proposed respondent BCCI returnable on February 3, 2021 and the petitioner was also directed to take steps for effecting service upon BCCI.