New Delhi :
The Supreme Court today imposed a cost of Rs one crore on cricket body DDCA for non-compliance of Delhi High Court order on a disputed structure at Ferozshah Kotla stadium but refrained from passing any order to pull it down observing that it will be a “national wastage” to do so.
“People are playing cricket in the stadium. If the said disputed structure of the stadium is brought down, it will serve no one’s purpose. It will be a national wastage,” a bench headed by Justice J S Khehar observed about the R P Mehra block at the stadium.
“You (DDCA) have not complied with directions of High Court issued in 2013. Now you have complied partially in 2016. You pay Rs 1 crore as cost for non-compliance of the orders and then we will see what needs to be done with your petition,” the bench also comprising Justice C Nagappan said.
The bench, also made it clear that the amount will be utilised for development and improving facilities at the stadium.
During the brief hearing, the court also pulled up an intervenor who had sought that a media box constructed at the stadium was not approved as per the sanctioned plan.
“If the building is brought down, will you get a medal? Why do you want the structure to be brought down? What will a citizen benefit when the structure is brought down? It will serve no one’s purpose,” the bench told the counsel for intervenor N C Bakshi on whose petition the Delhi High Court has earlier ordered a status quo.
Senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao said MCD has declared that all the structures were safe at the stadium and the media box, if brought down, will not serve any purpose to anybody.
Rao, appearing for DDCA, said the apex court should hear the plea of the cricket body and decide the issue.
The bench, which was earlier not inclined to hear the plea, said the DDCA’s appeal against the High Court order calls for “no interference”, as it had not complied with the direction issued in 2013.
The bench initially said that DDCA should be imposed a cost of Rs 3 crore (annually) for not complying with the directions of the High Court for three years but later imposed a cost of Rs 1 crore on the cricket body and posted the matter for further hearing on April 8.
It had earlier agreed to give urgent hearing to DDCA’s petition against a Delhi High Court order dismissing its application seeking restoration of a plea for a NOC from SDMC for Ferozshah Kotla stadium, which was denied Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) clearance.
The Delhi High Court on March 3 order had dismissed DDCA’s application to restore its 1997 petition seeking NOC from MCD for the stadium.
In its 1997 petition, the DDCA had challenged a June 1992 notification of ASI, as per which construction within 100 metres of ‘Kotla Baoli’ is prohibited.
As per DDCA’s petition, only the outer parapet wall of the monument was at a 100 metre distance from the stadium and not the actual monument. It had also said there was a road between the monument’s wall and the stadium.
The petition was dismissed in 2013 for non-prosecution, but was allowed to be revived if DDCA paid Rs 10,000 as cost each to the MCD, the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment, Delhi Urban Arts Commission and ASI.
In its petition, DDCA had also sought a direction to the municipal body to restore the stadium’s sanctioned plan.
The cricketing body had submitted that under the Delhi Master Plan, Ferozshah Kotla has been earmarked as a cricket ground. The stadium was built with the requisite permission and the only change made thereafter was adding of one more floor to the R P Mehra block of the stadium.