Back in fray: Union Club in Dhanbad on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
It’s the time to disco again for Dhanbad’s party people.
Union Club — the coal town’s hottest party destination that is famous for its New Year bashes — is set to open doors after more than a year.
The Supreme Court, in an 11-page order issued on October 20, directed the authorities to immediately reopen the club that had to be shut down in April last year on the basis of a high court fiat.
“We have handed over a copy of the Supreme Court’s order to deputy development commissioner of Dhanbad-cum-chief executive officer of Dhanbad district board Ratan Kumar Gupta on October 22. We are expecting execution of the order soon,” said former secretary and present chairman of the club’s legal cell Amitesh Sahay.
He added that the apex court also ordered reopening of around two dozen shops located on the club’s premises.
Gupta confirmed to have received a copy of the order from the club’s representatives. “But we are yet to get any copy from the Supreme Court. We will take appropriate action after seeking legal opinion,” he said.
Union Club and 85 other lease-holders of Dhanbad district board first received notices in September 2010 in the wake of a high court order. One Suresh Prasad had filed the PIL at the high court, alleging that the lease-holders were making commercial use of land and buildings provided to them by the district board at subsidised rates.
Following the notice, Union Club produced relevant documents, including the ones related to the lease valid till 2027. Not satisfied with the arguments, the district board cancelled the leases of all 86 leaseholders and issued eviction orders on March 26, 2011.
The club administration challenged the eviction order in the high court after which a bench headed by Justice Prakash Tatia issued a stay. The district board, on its part, appealed before a larger bench of the high court, which lifted the stay following which the club was sealed along with the shops in May 2011.
The club then knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court, which ruled in its favour.
Established in 1942, the club offers a host of recreational facilities. Its swimming pool is touted as the biggest in Jharkhand.