April 13, 2016
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court ruled on Wednesday that Maharashtra cannot
host any Indian Premier League matches after April 30. The order meant that 13
matches scheduled to be played in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur next month will
have to be shifted out.
According to the court, if the water that is to be used to maintain cricket pitches
is diverted to drought-affected areas of the State, the water crisis in those areas
can be solved to some extent.
The court said during the hearing of PIL on IPL matches, “Matches scheduled until
30th April can be held in Maharashtra. After that all the IPL matches to be held
outside the State.”
“Shifting IPL matches wont solve the problem but if water is diverted to drought-
hit areas problem can be solved to some extent,” the court said.
"We will be studying the judgement. We are yet to get a written judgement. The
moment we get that in written, the BCCI president, secretary and other office
bearers will be discussing and will be making the alternative plan," IPL chairman
Rajeev Shukla told the media here. "The BCCI will work on alternative plan,"
The BCCI told the court earlier that it will not be feasible to shift IPL matches out
of Pune. The franchises of Mumbai and Pune teams are willing to contribute Rs 5
crore towards the Chief Minister's drought relief fund, it said.
A bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik was hearing a PIL by NGO
Loksatta Movement challenging use of large quantities of water in stadiums while
the State was facing severe drought.
The Pune franchise told the court, "We have already invested a lot of money.
Shifting matches at this stage will not only affect the finances, but if the home
team's game is shifted to another state, it will lose support."
Advocate General Rohit Deo appearing for the Government said that if drinking
water is not being misused then the Government has nothing against the IPL. The
Government would not be in favour of shifting the IPL matches out of Maharashtra
if non-potable water is being used to maintain the pitches, he added.