The Delhi High Court granted permission to Delhi District Cricket Association to put online only 5,000 tickets of all denominations instead of 30,000, as per the court's previous order, for general public and allowed the plea not to print 15,000 tickets for the coming two World Cup cricket matches here.
The court, however, asked DDCA to give 15,000 tickets to the banks for sale and made it clear that unsold tickets would be distributed as complementary passes for cricket lovers.
Allowing an application filed by the Association through Rajiv Nayyar, Justice Sunil Gaur modified his earlier order asking DDCA not to issue more than 10,000 tickets as passes. The counsel for DDCA submitted that from the experience in last two matches, DDCA has decided to print only 30,000 passes and keep 15,000 tickets unutilised to avoid payment of entertainment tax as the matches would not attract huge crowd.
DDCA has to organize four matches--two were held recently and next two have been fixed for March 7 and 9 at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium which has a capacity to accommodate more than 50,000
The court was hearing a civil suit by Jai Karan Singh, one of the oldest members of DDCA, challenging the "arbitrary ways" of the Association's executive committee in issuing complimentary tickets and sought a ceiling on it. The judge, had passed the direction after the talks between the petitioner and DDCA failed to settle the issue out of court.
Referring to the judgment of the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court that distribution of free passes needed to be more transparent, Singh said the number of passes must be specified and added that the executive committee members issued free passes "at their whims and fancy for getting personal benefits not connected with the promotion of game of cricket".
He contended selling these tickets at a time when the cricket association was already running at a loss would be profitable.
The executive committee, however, has denied issuing free passes and said it was only in response to certain "firm commitments" and added the question of having its own interest in issuing passes did not arise.
The committee also defended free tickets to government and civic agencies officials saying they had to be 'rewarded' in some way for their cooperation in holding matches and that included certain officials of the Delhi government, MCD, traffic police and fire departments.