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Two men still running an ?82 Asiad marathon

Even when India is sending teams as far as Doha, Macau and Seoul to bag the 2014 Asian Games, the business of the 1982 Games is yet to be wrapped up. Tucked in a corner of the SAI office at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium are a couple of dilapidated rooms of the Delhi Asiad?s Special Organising Committee (SOC). Holding office are secretary-general K.S. Bains, 71, and his PS, Hari Ram Matta, 76. Their job: to fight a two-decade-old court case against a Dubai-based company.

india Updated: May 07, 2006 01:46 IST

Even when India is sending teams as far as Doha, Macau and Seoul to bag the 2014 Asian Games, the business of the 1982 Games is yet to be wrapped up.

Tucked in a corner of the SAI office at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium are a couple of dilapidated rooms of the Delhi Asiad’s Special Organising Committee (SOC).  Holding office are secretary-general K.S. Bains, 71, and his PS, Hari Ram Matta, 76. Their job: to fight a two-decade-old court case against a Dubai-based company.

Meetco had inked a $6-million deal with the SOC in March 1982 to sell the Games' worldwide advertising rights. When Meetco defaulted on payments, the SOC scrapped the agreement and approached the Delhi High Court's Arbitration Tribunal, claiming over $6 million. Meetco slapped a counter-case for $22 million.

The legal saga went on to straddle two continents. In 1984, Meetco filed suits in London and Dubai. Both were dismissed. In 1986, the Delhi High Court reconstituted the arbitration tribunal after one of the officials was found to have business links with the Dubai company. Four years and 110 sittings later, the tribunal dismissed Meetco's counter-claim, and announced an award of $3 million in favour of SOC. This was converted to a court ruling in October 1997.

But Delhi ruling couldn't be honoured in Dubai. Till 1999's bilateral treaty of juridical and judicial cooperation. The law ministry is now pursuing the case with the Emirate authorities.

The award would have totted up to Rs 3 crore in 1984; it's worth more than Rs 13 crore now. The SOC's entire budget was of Rs 14 crore. So what happens if and when the money comes in? Bains, who heads the SOC in an honorary capacity and is now on the trust that runs the Amity schools, says, "We distributed all our assets to different bodies according to the wishes of the government. The same will happen to this too."