Notice to Himachal over row with cricket body

Shimla, March 25(IASN) – The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the state on a petition filed by the state cricket association led by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, seeking quashing of a police complaint about illegal felling of trees near the international stadium in Dharamsala.

Justice Sureshwar Thakur, while hearing the petition of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) for suspending the proceedings of the criminal case, directed the government to file a reply within six weeks.

The court, however, deferred service of notice on Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in his personal capacity.

A large number of trees were felled by the HPCA during the construction of The Pavilion, the residential complex near the international stadium in Dharamsala, an official of the state Vigilance Bureau told IANS.

In 2013, the Vigilance Bureau filed a cheating and misappropriation case against the HPCA over alleged wrongdoing in allotment of land. According to revenue records, it was the common village land which was allotted to the sports association for constructing the residential complex.

The disputed land, three km from the picturesque stadium and 250 km from the state capital, has been used by the HPCA to build the five-star The Pavilion, which has 38 rooms, 32 huts and a high-tech gym.

The land was allotted when Prem Kumar Dhumal, Anurag Thakur’s father, headed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state.