SC allows to withdraw petitions by BCCI, HPCA

Published: Wednesday, May 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The Supreme Court today permitted withdrawal of a petition filed by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and a faction of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) seeking transfer of the petitions challenging the validity of Himachal Pradesh Sports Act pending in the state High Court to the apex court.

A bench comprising Mr Justice B P Singh and Mr Justice R V Raveendran however, permitted the petitioner to move a proper application in the High Court for permission to address the High Court in support of the validity of the impugned act.

Both the petitioners were directed to inform the high court which is scheduled to hear the case this afternoon, about the Supreme Court order passed today and fix the timetable of the hearing accordingly.

The imbroglio is triggered by the political rivalry between the two factions of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), one headed by Anurag Thakur, son of former BJP Chief Minister of the state Prem Kumar Dhumal and the other section headed by Mr Rajendra Zar, supported by the present Virabhadra Singh government for the control over the cricketing body of the state.

The Supreme Court today questioned the locus standing of the Congress supported faction of HPCA for seeking withdrawal of the petition filed in the High Court by the rival section and the court also questioned the locus standi of Congress supported section of HPCA to seek transfer of the writ from high court to the Supreme Court which has been filed by the other section of the HPCA.

Senior Counsel Arun Jaitley appearing for the faction headed by Anurag Thakur, made serious allegations against the rivals. He also brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, a Press statement issued from Chandigarh on April 4, 2006 that is one day before the hearing of the case in HP High Court, which was aimed at embarrassing the presiding judge on the bench to force him to distance himself from the case.

BCCI however, strongly supported the faction supported by the Congress.

The state Congress government had passed Himachal Pradesh Sports (Registration, Recognition and Regulation of Associations) Act 2005, under which the faction headed by Mr Zar was allowed to replace the faction headed by Mr Thakur. The former Chief Election Commissioner of India, T S Krishnamurthy was appointed the election observer.

Similar act passed by Rajasthan cricket association has already been challenged in the Supreme Sourt. The Himachal Pradesh Sports act is almost identical.

The apex court said the order however, will be without prejudice to the right of the petitioner to address the high court on the question of the constitutional validity of the impugned act.

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