The Delhi High Court on Monday made it clear to Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) that it has to comply with safety norms at Ferozeshah Kotla ground in order to host World T20 matches. (ICC World Twenty20: Feroz Shah Kotla in Danger of Not Hosting Matches)
A division bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to inspect the stadium and inform it whether it can grant occupancy certificate to the DDCA.
The court said a conditional occupancy certificate cannot be granted to the DDCA as it does not want anyone to say later that something untoward happened there due to lack of compliances or due to some minor deviation.
“Ultimately it is the safety of the stadium which will host the match, that is paramount,” said the bench, adding: “We should adhere to the highest standard.”
The court asked SDMC to inform it whether it can grant the occupancy certificate based on DDCA’s undertaking that it will ensure full compliance in three weeks.
During the hearing, DDCA counsel told the court that Monday was the last date to inform the Indian cricket board (BCCI0 whether the Kotla stadium can be fixed as a venue as tickets would be sold globally from February 9.
On this, the bench asked the DDCA that in such a situation it should have done all the compliance by now.
“If you don’t have a stadium prepared, how can you sell tickets? If tickets are sold under court orders and later stadium is found to be unsafe, then what happens? Tell the BCCI to wait,” said the bench.
Advocate Gaurang Kanth, appearing for the SDMC, told the court that an occupancy certificate cannot be granted on the basis of an undertaking.
The DCA had given the plans to the SDMC on February 5 and the civic body had inspected the stadium on February 6 when they found and it was found that only 40 percent of the work of correcting deviations in the structure had been carried out.
Delhi is scheduled to host four matches, including a semi-final, of the biennial tournament starting from March 8 in India. But uncertainties still haunt Delhi and the DDCA as it is yet to obtain no-objection certificates from the local civic authorities.
The court would hear the case again on Tuesday.