‘The land was given on lease for the purpose of constructing the cricket ground, which may become pride of Himachal Pradesh, at nominal rental.’
The Supreme Court has quashed FIR against BJP MP Anurag Thakur and others alleging irregularities in granting land on lease for construction of Dharamshala cricket stadium.
The bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan allowed the appeals writ petition filed by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Associations and Anurag Thakur, setting aside the Himachal Pradesh High Court order that had refused to quash the FIR.
The bench observed that the elements of criminal intent or criminal acts are lacking in this case.
“State of Himachal did not have any cricket ground, much less State of art cricket ground. It is, for this reason, that the land was given on lease for the purpose of constructing the cricket ground, which may become pride of Himachal Pradesh, at nominal rental,” the bench said.
The bench also noted that none of the officers who processed the case of the Cricket Association were prosecuted and said: “As per the prosecution, there is no criminal act on the part of the officers and they performed their appropriate administrative duties due to which sanction stands declined by the Central Government and the CVC. That itself is sufficient to absolve others from any criminal prosecution.”
Setting aside the high court order, the bench said: “[The High Court] dismissed the petition with a shallow examination of the case, thereby glossing over the material facts (which are noted hereinabove) and failing to examine that these pertinent aspects were sufficient to demonstrate that no criminal case was made out, particularly when all the concerned officers, who had taken the decision, were let off on the ground that they had not committed any wrong.”