Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association on Tuesday welcomed the High Court`s decision to restore "status quo ante" in respect of the takeover of HPCA land and properties, and "disapproved" the action of the state government saying it was "politically motivated".
"It is a victory of all the members and constituents of HPCA, their combined efforts and hardwork. We reaffirm our commitment towards the development of the game in Himachal in the best interest of all the stakeholders," Anurag
Thakur, the President of HPCA, said in a press release.
"We are committed to provide world class facilities to the players of the state and create more infrastructure for them and make Himachal one of the powerhouses of the game in the country," he added.
A division bench of Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Kuldip Singh restored the position as existed on October 26 when the state government cancelled the lease of lands given to the cricket association and took possession of the properties past midnight.
"The government is supposed to uphold the law but this action was against the law and we agree with the petitioner that it was a politically-motivated action as the state is not expected to act like this," the bench observed.
The interim order has come as a big relief for the HPCA, which had sought restoration of the properties, dubbing the action of the government as "mala fide" and that natural justice had been denied by not issuing any notice before taking the action.
The state cabinet had cancelled the grant of lease of all lands given to HPCA and took over the properties including Cricket Stadium and Hotel Pavilion at Dharamsala and lands at Bilaspur, Nurpur, Kotkhai and Shimla on October 26 midnight.
The bench said it was "an act of highhandedness" of the state authorities, which were expected to follow a due course of law to dispossess any person and maintained that the action was "politically motivated and goes against all established norms, rule of law and the Constitution".