Bar on IPL matches in Maharashtra stays

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea challenging a Bombay High Court ruling prohibiting holding of Indian premier League (IPL) cricket matches in Maharashtra due to unprecedented drought conditions in Vidarbha and Marathwada.

The plea was filed by the Maharashtra and Mumbai Cricket Associations.

The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit dismissed the plea after it was given conflicting figures by the senior counsel P. Chidambaram and Abhishek Manu Singhvi on the amount of water that would be needed for watering the cricket grounds and preparing pitches for 12 matches that were scheduled in Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune.

The Bombay High Court had on April 13 ordered the relocation all IPL matches in Maharashtra which were scheduled to be held after April 30. The order originally affected 13 matches.

Later, the court modified its order, permitting the holding of one match in Pune between Rising Pune Supergiants and defending champions Mumbai Indians on May 1.

At the outset of the hearing, Singhvi told the court that they would be requiring eight to 10 lakh litres of water for holding the match at the Wankhede Stadium and Chidambaram told the court that the requirement of water would be 8,00,00 litres per match.

Chidambaram also told the court that treated sewage water would be used for maintaining the grounds. Singhvi added that not a drop of water required for drinking would be used for the field.

Initially, the court had thought of appointing a local commissioner assisted by the police to look into the amount of water that would be used by the cricket associations for organising the matches. But finding wide variance in the figures being given by the counsels, it dismissed the plea by the two cricket associations.

On the query by the court, it was told that matches were being organised by the IPL under the auspices of the BCCI.

The petitioner associations had told the court that there were difficulties including that of logistic in holding the matches earlier scheduled to be played in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur at any other venue outside the state.



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