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Legal Correspondent

Shimla, September 12

The HP High Court today stayed the District Youth Service and Sports Officer’s communication regarding the vacation of the Shimla Ice Skating Club by September 14.

Tourism dept included as party

  • For developing the skating rink for all seasons, the Tourism Department had submitted a project proposal to the state government
  • The court also impleaded the Tourism Department while party in the case and directed the Director Tourism to remain present before it on September 14 to assist it on the issue

A Division Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh, while staying the operation of the communication, directed the Municipal Corporation Shimla to inform the court regarding the kind of material that had been stacked in the skating rink.

During the course of hearing, the court was informed that for developing the skating rink for all seasons, the Tourism Department had submitted a project proposal to the state government. On this, the courtroom also impleaded the Tourism Department as party in the case and directed the Director Tourism to remain present before it on September 14 to assist it on the issue. The court clarified in the order that henceforth, no vehicle of any kind would be parked inside the skating rink.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by the Shimla Ice Skating Club, which stated that the Sports Department upon September 3 issued a communication to its secretary to vacate the club premises within 10 days and hand over its possession by September 14 on the ground that the terms and conditions of the agreement had been violated.

The petitioner contended that the eviction order was illegal plus arbitrary. The eviction of the petitioner could be done only in due process of law and in no other manner and as such the letter/ communication was illegal.

It was contended in the petition that this Sports Department was evicting the club in order to shift offices. Blessington had established the club in 1920. The tennis courts were converted into the ice skating rink during the winter of 1920.

It was mentioned that it was the first club of this nature in South Asia to be established in India. In 1975, the Governor of Himachal Pradesh entered into a lease agreement with the secretary of the club. The particular petitioner was smoothly running the club with sports activities and paying the yearly lease amount to the Sports activities Department. After hearing the matter, the court issued notices to the state authorities and listed the matter for further listening to on September 14.

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