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cricket bodyAfter the high court interim order indicting Himachal Pradesh for forcible eviction of the BJP MP Anurag Thakur-led state cricket body from the picturesque cricket stadium in Dharamsala, the government may bring in a legislation to regulate its functioning.

The cabinet, headed by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, meets here Wednesday to approve a draft of the proposed legislation that would ensure transparency and regulate the functioning of all sports bodies, including the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), a government functionary told IANS.

The source said that if the proposed sports registration and regulation draft gets the cabinet approval, it would be sent to Governor Urmila Singh for her consent.

“The government will later try to get it passed in the assembly,” said the official who didn’t wish to be identified.

The Congress had earlier enacted the Himachal Pradesh Sports (Registration and Regulation of Association) Act in 2006 but it was repealed by the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led BJP regime.

A day after the high court’s order Nov 5, the government clarified it had no intention of taking control of sports bodies.

“At the same time, the government wants to ensure that sports bodies do not become private property of any individual or their vested interests,” Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said.

There were numerous complaints against the functioning of the HPCA and these were being looked into independently by different agencies, Agnihotri said.

Granting some succour to the HPCA, a division bench consisting of Chief Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Kuldip Singh ordered restoration of status quo ante as obtained prior to Oct 26 when the state forcibly took over the stadium and its land.

The hard-hitting order followed a writ petition from the HPCA, arguing that the government’s action was politically motivated and it could derail national and state matches from being held in the stadium.

But the court made it clear that restoration of status quo ante was no impediment for the authorities to proceed with legal remedies and actions, as may be permissible in law.

The court will now hear the matter Nov 28.

The government had cancelled the lease of land given to the HPCA, then a society and now a company, and took over the international cricket stadium and its residential complex in Dharamsala besides land allotted to the cricket body at Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kotkhai and Shimla towns.

The government action came after allegations against the HPCA over converting itself from a society to a company.


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