HC raps state after pvt club allowed to use stadium

The High Court questioned the permission given to JSW Football Club Private Limited to organise football matches in Kanteerava Stadium. DH FILE PHOTO

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday ordered a detailed investigation into the permission given to JSW Football Club Private Limited to organise football matches in Kanteerava Stadium and asked the state government to take action against those responsible for the same.

Hearing public interest litigation (PIL) by 17 coaches and 33 international and national level athletes who complained that they have been prohibited from the synthetic tracks of Kanteerava Stadium, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice H T Narendra Prasad ordered an investigation.

The bench also told Karnataka to frame rules for the utilisation of the ground. “As per Supreme Court directions, the state should frame a transparent policy for the utilisation of public stadiums by private or third parties,” it said.

The court termed illegal the state government's agreement with Jindal company which allowed the private football club to utilise the stadium from May 22, 2014, to May 31, 2017. “Even after the expiry of the agreement, the club was allowed to utilise the grounds from August 2017 to May 2018 without laying conditions. This is completely illegal,” the bench said.

Stating that the government has failed to follow rules, the court asked it to take action against the officials responsible for the procedure adopted for the agreement as well as those who extended it. “Action should be taken against the errant officials and a report submitted to the court by September 23,” the bench said.

Government advocate D Nagaraj assured the bench that transparency will be maintained while allowing private parties to use public stadiums and playgrounds. The case was adjourned to October 4.

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