Barabati land grab: OOA not to file review petition in SC

Cuttack: Getting scared over the Supreme Court order for a CBI inquiry into the alleged land grab at Barabati stadium, the Odisha Olympic Association (OOA) today convened a high level meeting chaired by president Sameer Dey in presence of secretary M A Alam and other council members.

The officials of the State Olympic body have consulted top legal experts ahead of the CBI investigation.

After long discussion, the association chalked out strategies to face the central probe agency. It was also decided that the review petition will not be filed in the apex court.”After analysing the legal aspects of the matter, we decided not to file the review petition, which was supposed to be filed in the Supreme Court within a month. We will fully cooperate with the CBI in the investigation”, Dey said.

The top sports body claimed that no illegal work has been done. “No government lands have been encroached upon. Major part of the Barabati Palace (marriage hall) is on the leased land. We are ready to face the CBI”, said M.A Alam, OOA secretary.

The Supreme Court on Monday had ordered the CBI to probe into the alleged land grab at the major sports ground OOA.
The probe was ordered on the basis of the Accountant General’s report recommending a CBI inquiry into the income-expenditure account of Barabati Palace (a marriage hall) and allotment of 23 shops that were built by OOA.

In the audit, the Accountant General had found that OOA started construction of the 23 shops on disputed land in 1990-91 with its own resources, completed the construction in 1995-96 at a cost of Rs 14.21 lakh and let out the same in March 1996. It also permitted construction of ‘Kalyan Mandap’ (the hall) by Incon Associates on the disputed land in 1996-97.

Asirbad Behera, a former secretary of Odisha Cricket Association, has been accused of encroaching on premium government land for furthering his own interests.

The apex sports body for football, hockey, table tennis, basketball and district athletic associations, got 20 acres of government land on lease for construction of Barabati Stadium in 1949. In the mid-1970s, it allegedly encroached upon 2 acres of adjacent vacant government land. In 1986 the OOA sub-leased the encroached land and developed business establishment.

In November 2014, Orissa High Court had ordered the Cuttack district collector to take possession of properties on the encroached land.