July 19, 2016, International Business Times
By S V Krishnamachari
Cricket star and MP Sachin Tendulkar apparently lobbied with Defence minister Manohar Parrikar last year to settle a dispute between his friend’s retreat in Mussoorie and a defence institute over an ‘illegal’ construction.
Parrikar however declined to intervene in the matter, reports The Economic Times.
The urgency of the matter could be gauged from the fact that Tendulkar had to advance his return to India from Australia to take up the matter with the minister, the daily said, citing defence ministry officials.
The holiday retreat — Dahlia Bank in the Landour cantonment area — had allegedly violated the 50-foot, no-construction zone next to the Institute of Technology Management, a sensitive DRDO establishment, the daily said.
Tendulkar had been trying to meet the minister and an appointment was set up. He spoke at length about the property case, which was heard out. However, no action was taken on the request put forward,” ET quoted a senior defence ministry official as saying.
The dispute arose over Tendulkar’s business partner Sanjay Narang constructing buildings, despite having sought and obtained approval to construct a tennis court in the restricted, high-security zone.
The Dahlia Bank controversy was in the news even in 2014, when Ajit B Reddy, CEO of Landour Cantonment, referred to the construction activities at the retreat as “unauthorised,” according to a Hindustan Times report in December 2014.
Tendulkar’s friend Sanjay Narang approached the Supreme Court to appeal against an Uttaranchal High Court order that ruled against him.
In February 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court’s decision. An SC bench comprising Justice Pinaki Chandra Gosh and Ranjan Gogi, termed the construction work as “illegal,” The Tribune had reported on Feb. 25, 2015, referring to the February 17 judgment.
The Institute of Technology Management was set up in 1962 to train defence personnel.
Tendulkar has multiple sports and business interests. He is a mentor of the IPL team, Mumbai Indians, co-promoter of Smaaash Entertainment, and co-owner of ISL team Kerala Blasters.