In a major relief to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Bombay High Court refused to stay the first match of the upcoming ninth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and gave a green signal to hold it as scheduled on April 9 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The court pronounced the judgement while hearing a PIL filed by NGO 'Loksatta Movement over water wastage in Maharashtra during the IPL at a time when the state is reeling under severe drought.
The court has also asked the Maharashtra government to file a reply on sources of water to be supplied to stadiums by April 12.
Mumbai Indians will face the Rising Pune Supergiants in the first and opening match of the IPL season 9. However, the decision on the remaining 19 matches to be held in Maharashtra has been kept pending and the matter will be heard on April 12.
Earlier on Wednesday, the High Court had rapped the BCCI and cricket associations in Maharashtra and Mumbai over water wastage, saying ideally IPL matches should be shifted to a venue where there is no water crisis.
"Ideally, you should shift the IPL matches to some other state where water is in abundance," the court observed. "Only if water supply to BCCI is cut, you will understand," the court observed.
"How can you (cricket associations and BCCI) waste water like this. People are more important or your IPL matches? How can you be so careless? Who wastes water like this? This is criminal wastage. You know what the condition is in Maharashtra," a division bench headed by Justices V M Kanade and M S Karnik said.