Kerala Cricket Association not a public office: HC

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015,20:32 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | The Kerala High Court today held that office of the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA), an affiliate of the BCCI, is not a public office. Justice Muhammed Mushtaq gave this ruling while quashing vigilance cases against KCA office-bearers, including its President T C Mathew.
The genesis of the case emanated from a complaint against the KCA decision to purchase land for constructing a stadium of international standards in Edakkochi and Thodupuzha.    As directed by a Vigilance Court, FIR was registered against the officebearers of the KCA.
Upholding the challenge made by Mathew and other office-bearers of KCA against the Vigilance court order, Justice Mushtaq said mere purchase of land for construction of a stadium cannot be said to have a public element.
Public duty in the context of criminal complaint would arise only when the construction of stadium is accomplished. The complaint is only one step of construction of stadium, the Court said.
The Court further said purchase of land cannot be considered as discharge of the public function. Only when stadium is completed, there will be public element and not before. Office of the KCA is not public office. KCA is not under legal obligation to construct stadium. Lest no complaint would lie against KCA for the purchase of land for the construction of stadium, the Court said.
Stating that the complaint was not maintainable, the Court quashed the entire proccedings initiated against KCA by the state vigilance and anti-corruption department.
However, the High Court made clear that if the act of the petitioner constitutes an offence under any law, the judgement would not be a bar for proceedings against them.