HC refuses stay on IPL inaugural match

HC refuses stay on IPL inaugural match

19 matches will be played in drought-hit Maharashtra

HC refuses stay on IPL inaugural match

Decks have been cleared for the inaugural match of the ninth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai with the Bombay High Court on Thursday refusing to grant an immediate stay to Twenty20 cricket matches. 

A petition had challenged the use of water in the pitches and grounds at a time when Maharashtra was reeling under severe drought. 

However, a division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice V M Kanade and Justice S M Karnik, while hearing the PIL filed by Loksatta, an NGO, made scathing remarks on the Maharashtra government. “This is a serious issue, the government needs to look at it seriously,” Justice Kanade said.  

“People where they have money can have as much water as they can whereas in other places people are getting water once in three days...this is an anomaly,” he said. 

The matter has been posted for further hearing on April 12, when the Maharashtra government and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would be required to file a report on the source of water to tankers, which supply water to stadiums.

 The bench felt that until it is clear that from where these tankers draw water, the issue of granting stay cannot be considered. “The petition is filed just before the IPL matches are to begin from April 9...we do not propose to grant a stay at this stage...we want to know the source of water supplied to the cricket grounds for maintaining the pitches,” the bench  observed while adjourning the hearing. 

A total of 19 matches will be played in the Maharashtra in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur – and all these cities are facing water crisis. “You are dealing with people at large...animals have died, cattle have died, people are dying and you want to maintain pitches and grounds,” Justice Kanade said and asked the government to spell out what short-term and long-term measures it has planned to tide over the water crisis.  Coming to the issue of tanker lobby, he said: “I am told that these tankers charges over Rs 900 per tanker...how it is permissible...how can you allow this...after all the wells and borewells from where they draw water belong to the corporation.” 

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