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The Delhi High Court Friday questioned the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna over the Siri Fort Sports Complex being closed to its members due to the Commonwealth Games

Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Mool Chand Garg issued notice and asked the DDA to submit before it the files containing details of the order regarding the closure of the complex, ahead of Games events.

Before taking up the matter, Justice Nandrajog informed counsel for the petitioner and the DDA that he was a member of the complex, to which no objection was raised by either of the parties.

He informed that he has not been visiting the complex for the last seven years. The next date of hearing in the matter is Sep 13.

On three earlier occasions, various benches of the high court refused to take up the matter on the grounds that judges on the bench were themselves members of the complex.

Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice Valmiki Mehta refused to hear the matter Wednesday as one of the sitting judges was a member of the sports complex. Before it, a division bench last week refused to take up the matter on the same grounds and transferred the case to another bench.

On Aug 31, a division bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Reva Khetrapal transferred the matter to another bench as counsel Ruchi Sindwani, appearing for the Lieutenant Governor, was related to one of the sitting judges.

The petition was moved by the members of the sports complex in South Delhi challenging the decision of its secretary to close it down from Aug 16 for the coming Commonwealth Games. The complex is supposed to host events like badminton and squash during the Oct 3-14 Games.

Atul Wadhera, a Supreme Court lawyer who filed the petition, alleged that the move was unjustified on the part of the secretary. It denied hundreds of members the facilities of the complex.

‘There are only two events to be held for the Commonwealth Games and there are about 29 activities in the complex due to which people come here on a daily basis,’ Wadhera said in the petition.

The decision has affected not only retired people but even children as they have been denied entry to play in the children’s park.

‘People are not allowed to jog and play football or engage in other activities. For the sake of two events, you are stopping people from availing facilities and participating in other activities,’ said the petition.

It also sought immediate opening of the complex as an interim measure allowing people to use the jogging tracks, for children to use the park, and youngsters the football ground. More then 70 percent of the members are retired, elderly people.

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