A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to stop IPL Matches with immediate effect and to have an enquiry as to why such matches have been prioritised over public health by the respondent authorities in the case titled Karan S Thukral vs UOI.
By: Surbhi Kumari, Amity University, Patna
The petitioners in the case are Karan S. Thukral and Inder Mohan Singh, whereas the respondents were Union of India through LG of Delhi, BCCI, IPL Governing Council through its President, IPL Governing Council through its Chairman, Delhi and District Cricket Association and the Delhi CM.
The petition seeks relief against an “arbitrary, unreasonable and unjustified action on part of the Respondents” in purporting to conduct the IPL matches in Delhi amid the horrifying Covid-19 situation in the national capital.
The PIL said that “The present petition seeks put an end on the conduct of Indian Premier League matches and prays for conduct against the Union of India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for stoppage of IPL matches with immediate effect. Considering the nature of the matter and the fact that this petition is in public interest, subject to orders of the Hon’ble Chief Justice, list before the appropriate Division Bench, as per the list, on 5th May, 2021.”
Further, “In a capital city where the people are struggling for beds in hospitals, burning- Ghat for the last rituals , oxygen cylinders for critical patients and basic medicines, the conduct of IPL matches in Delhi would disturb the mental peace of covid patient and their families. Hence, the stadium should be used to create Covid care centres in order to reduce the difficulty of the common people and these match must be stopped on an urgent basis.”
The direction was given by a single judge bench comprising Justice Pratibha Singh who directed to list the plea before the appropriate division bench and this hearing has been done through video conferencing.
A total of 8 IPL Matches have been scheduled to be held in Delhi from 28-04-2021 to 08-05-2021 during the pandemic and the lockdown extension by the Delhi CM. The petition also says that it was noticed in the recent statement of the Delhi High Court saying that the Delhi Government had ‘failed’ to address this issue, so it will ask central government officers to take over the situation.
Delhi, being one of the host cities for the two contrasting incidents – Covid19 and IPL, has turned into a battleground, not just for the teams fighting for victory but also for thousands of people fighting the ultimate battle between life and death.
The question appears before the government that how the government can allow its resources, including the stadium, the health care and the administrative staff to be diverted anywhere else while there is an acute shortage of medical infrastructure in the state.
So, the petition stated that the stadium can serve 500 people and it provides health facilities only to the cricketers and if it will provide health facilities to common people, then it can save many lives of the common people who are struggling to get their loved ones treated on time.
Prayer in the PIL:
- Issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order / direction directing the Respondent(s) to stop the matches straight away.
Issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Respondent(s) to hold an enquiry as to why the IPL is being prioritised over the Public Health.