HPCA terms midnight takeover of its properties as draconian

The Dharamsala stadium was also taken over by the Himachal Pradesh state government © AFP

New Delhi: Oct 28, 2013

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) on Monday termed the midnight takeover of the Dharamsala cricket stadium as “draconian” and “politically motivated” and a deliberate attempt to malign its reputation.

The Congress government took over the Dharamsala cricket stadium and all other HPCA properties in a midnight drama, hours after state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Virbhadra Singh decided to cancel the lease deed of the land allotted to HPCA on Saturday night.

“The midnight takeover of the stadiums and academies, vigilance inquiries and registration of the FIRs and take-over of the various other assets of HPCA is a draconian step taken by the state government which is politically motivated aimed to mislead the simple and honest people of the state and would prove detrimental in promoting sports in this hilly state,” an HPCA release said.

“These steps have been tried previously as well when the congress government came into power in March 2003 and passed a draconian law like H.P Sports Act 2005 and tried to grab the control of HPCA unsuccessfully.

“There has been a deliberate attempt to malign and tarnish the reputation of the sports body which has brought Himachal on the world map of sports by projecting it as a commercial private entity which is far from the truth.”

The State Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau had registered a case against the HPCA and the Registrar of Cooperative Societies had served a show-cause notice to the HPCA asking it to explain how the society was converted into a registered company.

The release, which was distributed by the HPCA press secretary, however, said the body has done nothing unlawful by turning itself into a registered company before the change of government in the State.

“We would take this opportunity to clarify that we have taken all permissions under law for running our various activities from the state government, central government, company law board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and have done nothing against the law of the land,” the release said.

“As such before making/registering HPCA as a Section 25 Company all statutory requirements have been fulfilled by obtaining prior consent of Govt of India, Min of Corporate Affairs.

“Further it is imperative to mention here that prior to converting HPCA into a Sec 25 Company we have also obtained the concurrence of our parent body the BCCI.”

The release further said “HPCA is not a solitary cricket organisation in the country to convert into a Sec 25 Company, others include UPCA, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab etc.”

HPCA said it is the decision of the state government is “unfortunate” and “uncalled”.

“The latest development where the state government is once again using its every power to nail the efforts of sports promotion of HPCA is very unfortunate and uncalled for. That simply puts a question mark on the intentions of the present government.”