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Madhya Pradesh HC dismisses PIL against non-sports activities in Chhatarpur stadium

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that non-sports activities are being conducted in the Pandit Baburam Chaturvedi Stadium for many years.

The case of the petitioner Mohd Kareem is that there is a Pandit Baburam Chaturvedi Stadium in District Chhatarpur. It is meant for sports activities. However, non-sports activities are being conducted in the stadium for many years. Hence, the petition is filed to direct the respondents not to allot the stadium for non-sports activities.

The State disputed the plea of the petitioner and stated the stadium is predominantly used for sports activities. However, on certain days such as on January 26 Republic Day, August 15 Independence Day and on certain other days, the stadium is used temporarily for other purposes. However, the stadium is predominantly used for sports activities. Hence, it cannot be said that the same is being misused.

In support of his case, the counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on the judgment of the Supreme Court reported in(2022) 11 SCC 529 (Krishan Lal Gera Vs. State of Haryana and others) .

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Vishal Mishra while considering the submission did not find any merit in the PIL.

The Bench observed that the use of the stadium is always for the purpose of sports activities. It cannot be used for any other activity. However, that does not bar the Government from granting permission to authorities concerned to use the stadium for limited purposes other than sports activities, as narrated by the State, it is being used on certain days such as Independence Day, Republic Day, Dussehra etc. There are only a couple of days in a year which do not change the nature of the property in question. The stadium continues to remain a sports stadium.

As far as the judgment relied upon by the counsel for the petitioner is concerned, the Bench finds that there is no nexus at all to the facts of the case.

The Bench held that the fact in the said case of the Supreme Court was to the effect that the District Association Cricket, Faridabad decided to form a club in the stadium in order to generate income for the District Cricket Association. It was intended so that the Association could have the funds to maintain the cricket stadium. It is for this reason the purpose of the stadium stood diluted. It is in those circumstances, the said order has been passed. In the instant case, there is no dilution so far as the stadium is concerned. It is only on certain days that the stadium is used for other purposes.

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