Free Press Journal

Match can’t be held at unsafe ground, HC tells DDCA


Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks during the inaugural session of Start Up India in New Delhi on January 16, 2016. The Start Up India mission envisages technology business incubators and research facilities aimed at start-up entreperneurs. AFP PHOTO / Money SHARMA

New Delhi: The DDCA on Tuesday withdrew its plea seeking direction for the civic body to grant certificate to host World T20 matches at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground after the Delhi High Court made it clear that no matches can be held at an unsafe stadium.

“Match can’t be held at (an) unsafe stadium,” a division bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vibhu Bakhru told the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). “We have made it absolutely clear, if you don’t comply with (safety) norms, match will not happen,” it added.

The court’s observation came after the DDCA told it that it will submit a security deposit of Rs.50 lakh which it stands to forfeit if the South Delhi Muncipal Corporation’s concerns on safety are not met.

The DDCA has been given 20 days to get the stadium ready for another inspection, its counsel told the court, which however was not pleased with the submission.

“SDMC will inspect the stadium again but if they found that the norms are not complied with and will not give occupancy certificate, you will not hold the match. We will not entertain you if you come after 20 days saying occupancy certificate not granted,” said the bench.

Advocate Gaurang Kanth, appearing for the SDMC, told the court that the security deposit submitted by the DDCA will be forfeited if the Kotla is not up to mark on all 60 points raised by SDMC engineers with regard to safety.

He added that SDMC had inspected the stadium when they found that only 40 percent of the work of correcting deviations in the structure had been carried out.

The court said only 40 percent work has been done and 60 percent is still remaining. “Let the BCCI take the risk,” it added.

Delhi is scheduled to host four matches, including a semi-final, of the biennial tournament starting from March 8 in India. But uncertainties still haunt Delhi and the DDCA as it is yet to obtain no-objection certificates from the local civic authorities.