Delhi high court rejects DDCA's plea to use RP Mehra block.
'We cannot control what the ICC is saying.'
The Delhi high court has told the Delhi and District Cricket Association it "cannot control" what the International Cricket Council is saying over the issue of lack of completion certificate for the old clubhouse of the Ferozshah Kotla ground, which could lead to shifting of the World T20 semi-final from Delhi.
A bench of justices S Muralidhar and Vibhu Bakhru also clarified to the cricketing body that requisite clearances for hosting the match would be subject to the compliances and the DDCA should talk to the ICC about it.
“We cannot control what the ICC is saying. You (DDCA) have to take it up with the ICC. You tell this to ICC. It has nothing to do with this court," the bench told the counsel appearing for the DDCA.
Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing DDCA, then told the bench he would withdraw the petition which sought a direction to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue the requisite certificate for the R P Mehra block.
Sethi also told the bench that the DDCA would make appropriate representation on the issue after which the petition was "dismissed as withdrawn".
Justice Mudgal, appointed by the high court to oversee the functioning of the DDCA, has asked the cricketing body not to sell tickets for the semi-final match for the R P Mehra block, having a capacity of around 2,000, and that it be used only for the broadcasters and the media.
During the hearing, Sethi told the bench that the ICC has taken an objection to it and is saying that if any of the blocks remain vacant then the semi-final match would be shifted to another venue.
"Justice Mudgal says that let it (R P Mehra block) be occupied by press and commentators only. We have no problem with it but the ICC says that if the block would not be entirely occupied then the semi-final match may be shifted," Sethi told the court adding that media and commentators cannot fill the entire block.
When the lawyer said the DDCA has no problem with what Justice Mudgal was saying, the bench said, "Your only problem is the ICC."
"We cannot give you the permission. It has to be in terms of the earlier order passed by this court," the bench observed, adding DDCA cannot have the permission without all the requisite clearances.
During the hearing, advocate Sangram Patnaik, appearing for DDCA, told the bench that issue with the R P Mehra block is for the semi-final match only.
To this, the bench observed, "You (DDCA) are answerable to the law. You undertook a huge risk. You knew about the consequences of the action which you have taken. You make sure that you get the certificate. Nothing prevents you."
When Sethi said the SDMC has already granted occupancy certificate to the DDCA, the bench said, "It is clear that occupancy certificate for the R P Mehra block was not granted."
During the hearing, Patnaik referred to the mails received from ICC and Board of Control for Cricket in India and told the bench that "let Justice Mudgal take the decision".
The bench, however, said, "He (Mudgal) cannot take a decision. He is only assisting this court so that matches can take place here."
At this juncture, the DDCA also appreciated the work done by Justice Mudgal and said the cricketing body is grateful to him.
"But the ICC has taken a view that since it is a semi-final match and if complete access is not given then the semi-final match cannot be played here," it said.
Referring to the prayer sought by the DDCA, the bench said, "What you will do it is entirely up to you. We cannot do what you are praying for."
A single judge bench of the high court had on Monday told the DDCA it cannot allow the body to hold matches until it gets the completion certificate and the R P Mehra block was not as per the sanctioned construction plan.
The World T20 semi-final match is slated for March 30.
The DDCA had on Monday referred to the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (special provisions) Second Act 2011 and said the R P Mehra block cannot be held illegal or unauthorised since the act provides for regularisation of the structure.
The court had referred to a March 8 order of a division bench before which SDMC had said occupancy certificate was for the entire stadium, barring R P Mehra block, which falls within 100 metres of a protected monument and lacks clearance from Archaeological Survey of India.