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Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association petition against Virbhadra Singh dismissed by High Court

(Photo Courtesy: ECB via Twitter)
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and other officials had come under scrutiny in a land row case  (Photo Courtesy: ECB via Twitter)

Shimla: Jan 8, 2014

In a setback to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), the state high court on Wednesday rejected as “misconceived” the application of the cricket body, led by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, to implead Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and three government officials in a land row case.

Pronouncing the order, reserved Jan 4, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Kuldip Singh observed: “We, however, wonder why the petitioners have filed another motion for arraying non-applicants as party-respondents. The said relief is misconceived.”

The bench, however, allowed the HPCA to amend its writ petition within three weeks relating to the observations of the state registrar of cooperative societies. The court will next hear the case March 22.

The petitioners alleged the entire government machinery under the influence of the chief minister, in a midnight swoop Oct 26 last year, forcibly evicted the HPCA from its stadia, principally the picturesque Dharamsala stadium.

The government, however, said its decision to cancel the lease and to take control of HPCA’s properties was withdrawn by it Nov 18 last year and on account of this development, most of the prayers made in the writ petition have become infructuous.

The government also submitted the chief minister and others, including Director General of Police Sanjay Kumar, were not necessarily parties as they were not concerned with the matter in their personal capacities.

It also said the plea for amendment of writ petition was frivolous and meant merely to delay the proceedings and to remain in possession of the properties.

Earlier, the high court had indicted the government for forcible eviction of the HPCA from its stadia and ordered restoration of possession to it.
The court then ordered status quo ante with respect to the cabinet decision taking over the properties.

“The orders of forcible dispossession are against law, constitutional guarantee and obligations of the state to its citizens as a person in settled possession of a premises cannot be dispossessed by an executive fiat, even though he can be stated as a trespasser,” the bench observed.

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