Odisha Olympic body enters into yet another legal tussle

Cuttack: While the Supreme Court of India is currently adjudicating over a plea pertaining to encroachment of government land by Odisha Olympic Association, the Orissa High Court today admitted a PIL which alleges that OOA has subleased a part of its leased land to Odisha Cricket Association in violation of the lease deed.

Admitting the PIL filed by a former council member of OCA Braja Nanda, a division bench of Justices Indrajit Mohanty and S C Parija issued notices to seven out of 10 respondents, including three secretaries of the state government and both the sporting bodies.

Demanding a CBI inquiry into the matter, the petitioner alleged that OOA secretary Asirbad Behera, who also happens to be OCA secretary, has engaged himself in several “nefarious” activities by subleasing a portion of OOA land to OCA, thereby changing the nature and purpose of the land leased out to OOA by Odisha government.

In his petition, Nanda has said the state government leased out an area of 20.808 acres of land to OOA in September 1949 to construct a stadium (Barabati Stadium) on it for developing sporting activities in the state.

Subsequently, the government further leased out another adjacent area measuring 2.703 acres to the apex sporting body of the state to build an indoor stadium.

“But in August, 2001, when Behera was the honorary secretary of both the sporting bodies, OOA executed an indenture subleasing the stadium galleries and its surrounding areas to OCA.

Being an affiliated body of BCCI, cash-rich OCA constructed several permanent structures illegally on the subleased area, including the OCA club with a liquor shop and bar,” the PIL has alleged.