Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the government and Imran Raza Ansari, Minister of State for Youth Services and Sports, on a petition filed by Farooq Abdullah as President J&K Cricket Association, seeking non-interference in the affairs of the cricketing governing body in the state.
The notice, returnable within a week, was issued by a bench of Justice Bansi Lal Bhat after hearing the former chief minister’s counsel, advocate Javed Iqbal.
Besides the Chief Secretary on behalf of the state government and Ansari, the court also issued notices to Asgar Samoon, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Jahangir Mir, Director General Youth Services & Sports, Srinagar, Rakesh Kumar (vice chairman—Jammu— of JKCA’s rebel group), Sudershan Mehta (General Secretary rebel group), Director General of Police, Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar and Station House, Officer, Police Station, Ram Munshi Bagh.
In the petition, Farooq seeks the court’s directions to command the government to forbear from indulging and involving itself in the activities of the JKCA headed by him, inasmuch as causing any impediment and interference into its cricketing activities “by any manner, mode or method at the behest of Ansari, Kumar and Mehta.”
On July 20, high drama unfolded in the JKCA with the rebel group electing Ansari as the president of JKCA in an attempt to end Farooq’s 35-year reign. However, the poll results were stayed by a Jammu court. Subsequently, the Farooq group filed a suit before the 1st Additional District & Sessions Judge Srinagar, challenging the 20 July election conducted by the JKCA.
Farooq, who also served as minister in UPA-II, also seeks direction to the government as well as police to refrain from extending any kind of official support or help in any manner to Ansari, Kumar and Mehra regarding the affairs of ‘his’ JKCA and its activities by any manner, mode or method. “The (Government) be commanded to take effective and necessary measures for desealing of the record cupboards, almiras, drawers lying in the respective office rooms of office bearers of the petitioner Association (headed by Farooq) forthwith.”
Farooq has also sought direction to initiate “appropriate action” against Divisional Commissioner and Director General Youth Services and Sports for “wanton disregard of rules of duty committed on July 20 while participating in the so-called meeting convened by the respondent Kumar”.
Farooq has alleged that despite bringing to the notice of the government “unlawful and illegal activities” of the divisional administration and others, no action was taken against them “purportedly in view of manifest influence and misuse of power by (Ansari).”
In view of the “facts and circumstances”, Farooq submitted that he was left with no option except to seek indulgence of the court:
“Since the issues involved in the present petition are different and distinct than those involved in suits (pending before subordinate courts), as such it has become necessary and imperative for (my) association to invoke the extraordinary writ jurisdiction of the (High) Court in the matter so that justice is dispensed in (my) favour inasmuch as for securing the game of cricket and young cricketers of the State in particular from being spoiled for extraneous considerations coupled with oblique motives at the hands of the (government and Ansari).”