The Supreme Court of India dismissed the plea Maharashtra and Mumbai Cricket Associations had filed against the Bombay High Court order directing shifting of IPL matches outside the drought-hit state.
A bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur was initially inclined to allow the matches in Maharashtra with some strict conditions, like stadium authorities will not be permitted to use "even a drop of potable water" for their matches. However, the bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit dismissed the petition and said that the matches should be shifted out of the state.
At the outset, senior advocate P Chidambaram and AM Singhvi, appearing for the state cricket bodies, sought a stay
on the Bombay High Court order, saying that they will not be using potable water for any cricketing activity in stadiums in Mumbai and Pune, and rather use treated sewage water.
During the hearing, the bench sought a response from the lawyers about the claim that 60 lakh litres of water would be required for maintenance of the grounds. Chidambaram referred to certain letters and said that the stadiums would actually require 10,000 litres a day for six days and potable water will not be used. He refuted the claim that 60 lakh litres of water would be required, and said that at best, 60,000 litres of treated water could be used for watering the grounds, and this water would be brought by tankers.
Considering the submissions, the bench said, "We will direct the civic bodies to disconnect 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."
The court later dismissed the plea after having noted it would be better to shift the matches out rather than to create
a situation where all kinds of regulations would be needed. The dismissal of the petition would lead to relocation of
five IPL matches which were to be played at the home grounds of Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants.
The Bombay High Court had on 13 April ordered the shifting of all IPL matches scheduled in Maharashtra after 30 April to other states in view of the severe drought.