The U-17 World Cup to be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi from October 7 has hit over 200 small businessmen who own shops at the stadium with the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) asking them to close down their shops for security reasons during the tournament.
The Kerala High Court has asked the GCDA to compensate the shop owners.
At least 236 shop owners who have their shops at the stadium were asked by GCDA, which owns the stadium, to close down their shops from September 25 to October 28 - till the event is over.
Six league matches and one pre-quarter and one quarter final matches are scheduled to be held at the stadium.
The shop owners approached the High Court against the GCDA directive.
After hearing all the parties, the court in its interim verdict, asked GCDA to remit Rs 25 lakh as first instalment to the government treasury, which will be used to pay compensation to the shop owners for loss in business and also compensate employees who work in these shops.
The interim directive also asks that a two-member committee headed by a person holding the powers of a district judge be set up and all the shop owners have to put their estimated loss before this committee.
The two-member committee will decide the total compensation to be paid, and if more funds are needed, then the GCDA will have to remit that amount too, which will be given to the shop owners.
The court pointed out that if any shop owner is unhappy with the compensation amount, then they are free to approach a civil court of law.