The Bombay High Court today permitted the BCCI to hold the May 1 IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants in Pune, a week after it ordered shifting to other venues all post-April 30 matches planned in drought-hit Maharashtra.
A division bench of justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik granted the permission while hearing an application filed by BCCI’s general manager (games development) Ratnakar Shetty urging the court to allow the cricket body to hold the May 1 match as scheduled in Pune, citing logistical and other difficulties in moving it to another venue.
“As an exception, due to logistical reasons mentioned by BCCI in the application we are allowing the match to he held in Pune on May 1,” the order said.
The application was filed after the high court passed the order on April 13 directing all IPL matches from April 30 onwards to be shifted out of Maharashtra to avoid use of huge quantities of water for maintenance of stadiums when the state was reeling under a grim drought.
By that order, 13 matches were to be shifted to other states.
According to Shetty’s application, the Pune team is scheduled to play a match against Gujarat Lions on April 29 in Pune, and hence, it is “practically impossible” for BCCI and the Pune franchise to shift the May 1 match to an another venue outside Maharashtra and “make all arrangements for the same in just a single day”.
Shetty’s plea stated that the request is “bonafide and is being made in the interest of justice” and if the court does not grant relief then severe prejudice, grave hardship and irreparable damage and injury will be caused to BCCI and the Pune franchise.
It further stated if the May 1 match is shifted to any venue outside the state then the team members and its crew can travel only in the afternoon of April 30 as the match on April 29 will get over only late in the night.
The High Court had issued its April 13 order on a PIL by NGO ‘Loksatta Movement’ which challenged the use of over 60 lakh litres of water for ground management despite drought in the state and sought for all the matches to be shifted out of Maharashtra.
The BCCI had given an assurance that IPL franchises of Mumbai and Pune would contribute Rs five crore to CM’s drought relief fund and that treated sewage water would be used for maintaining the stadiums, without wasting potable water.