SC says no to IPL matches in Maharashtra after April 30

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The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea by Maharashtra and Mumbai Cricket Association to hold Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches in the state.

Earlier the Bombay High Court had ordered shifting of IPL matches outside the drought-hit state, that is facing acute water crisis.

The dismissal would lead to shifting of at least five IPL matches.

The Bombay High Court had, on April 13, ordered relocation of all IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra after April 30 to other states due to unprecedented water crisis and severe drought.

A bench of Chief Justice of India T S Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit dismissed the petition after some initial arguments during which the Apex bench said that the matches would be allowed if the concerned authorities ensured that “not even a drop of potable water” is wasted.

Leading the arguments for the cricket bodies, senior advocates P Chidambaram and Abhishek Manu  Singhvi, sought a stay on the Bombay High Court order, saying that they will not be using potable water for any cricket activity in stadiums in Mumbai and Pune and rather use treated sewage water.

Chidambaram said the stadiums would need 10,000 litres a day for six days and potable water will not be used.

The Apex Bench said, “We will direct the civic bodies to disconnect the drinking water to the establishment and not a drop of potable water will be used. We will appoint a judicial officer who, with the help of police, will ensure that drinking water is not used.”

But as no argument buttressing the point was forthcoming, the Apex bench  dismissed the plea after observing thta it would be better to shift the matches out rather than create a situation where all kinds of regulations would be needed.

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