Govt blinks, rolls back decision to take over properties of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association
SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh government on Monday decided to roll back its decision of taking over control of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) properties and also resolved to speed up investigation in the case before initiating further action against the cricketing body.
According to sources, during the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Virbhadra Singh in Shimla, it was felt that as the matter was already pending before the court therefore the earlier decision of taking over HPCA properties should be reverted. “It has been decided to expedite the ongoing probe before taking further action,” sources added.
Hours after cancelling the lease agreements of lands allotted to HPCA, the state government on the night of October 26 had taken over possession of HPCA properties in Dharamshala, Shimla and other parts of the state. Challenging the government move, HPCA had filed a petition in the high court on October 30 terming the government move as unjustified and illegal on the ground that action was initiated without giving HPCA a chance of hearing.
In its November 5 order, the high court had directed the state government to restore “status quo ante” as on October 26 forthwith. The court, however, had said that restoration of status quo ante was no impediment for the government to proceed with legal remedies and the opinion was only prima-facie and for considering the grant of interim relief only.
The division bench had observed that an order of forcible dispossession of properties was against law. The court had further observed that ownership of a building was distinct than the right in grant of lease given by the state. “The state can terminate the lease, but it is no basis for forcible dispossession, for which the government has to seek appropriate remedy in law,” it had added.