HC directs J&K Govt to furnish fund details released for sports activities, infra development

The High Court has directed Jammu and Kashmir Government to furnish details of the funds released and utilised under various projects for development of sports activates and the time line for completion of the projects.

While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) initiated by the court on its own motion, a division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Sanjeev Kumar observed that it was essential to have the details of the allocation and utilization of the funds released by the Central Government to J&K as well as the budget allocation for sports by the erstwhile State, now a Union Territory.

The court directed the government to furnish complete details of the projects being undertaken under the PMDP, Sports for Peace and Development and Khelo India Scheme including the fund utilisation and the time line for completion of the projects.

  The direction followed after the court went through an affidavit filed by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The affidavit said Jammu and Kashmir has received from the Central Government 17.20 percent of the total funds released in the entire country towards development of sports infrastructure and organising sports competitions in the States and UTs.

 Observing that so far as allocation of funds is being done, the court said the Jammu and Kashmir has received extensive attention at the hands of the central government.  “Yet the position regarding the facilities and sports remains abysmal,” the court said.  

While additional advocate general Shah Aamir represented the J&K government, Assistant Solicitor General  TahirMajidShamsi appeared on behalf of  Union of India.      Advocate Faisal Qadri assisted the court as amicus curiae

 The affidavit further reveals that the Government of India was pro-actively exploring the possibilities of further development of sports and reviewing of the projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

With regard to the facilities of coaches, the, the Court directed Secretary, Department of Youth Services and Sports to file an affidavit indicating the facilities available for training of coaches, the details of trained coaches available in all sports disciplines and an action plan regarding training of coaches in all sports. “Such affidavit shall be filed within a period of three weeks from today failing which the Secretary, Department of Youth Services and Sports shall remain personally present in Court,”  it said.

The direction came after the court observed it as shocking state of affairs that Government of the UT was completely silent about the important matter of deficiency of trained coaches as well as training for coaches.

Dismayed over the defiance of its directions, the court said it has repeatedly called upon the official respondents to place before it an action plan.  “For this purpose, we have on record assurances from several sports association that they would assist the local authorities in arrangement for training in all disciplines of sports which are available in other parts of the country,” the court said. 

Pointing out that Sheri-Kashmir Cricket Stadium has been lying in a dilapidated condition for several years, the court said the Government has made no reference about it. The court impleaded Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association through its Chief Executive Officer as party and issued notice to him.

“Issue court notice to the newly added respondent without process fee which notice shall indicate that an affidavit setting out the status of the said Cricket Stadium and the steps for its completion and maintenance is placed on record within two weeks from the receipt of the notice”