The N Srinivasan-led Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) suffered a setback with the Supreme Court on Tuesday restraining the cricket body from using three stands of the MA Chidambaram Stadium for the forthcoming IPL matches.
According to the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) the three stands — I, J and K — are unauthorised. Around 12,000 spectators can be accommodated in these stands at the stadium popularly known as Chepauk.
So far, 21 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches have been held in the stadium since 2011, when the stands were constructed. The TNCA has used the alleged “unauthorised” stands during all the tournaments.
On an appeal by the CMDA, a bench of justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice NV Ramana set aside the order passed by the Madras high court allowing the TNCA to use the stands.
It asked the cricket body to submit a plan to the Chennai Corporation for demolishing a portion of the building of the Madras Cricket Club as the construction violated the safety norms of the stadium.
The court rejected the TNCA’s argument, put forth by senior counsel Amit Sibal, that it would demolish the objectionable portion at a later date, and that the three stands should be put to use for this year’s IPL matches.
The bench asked the TNCA to submit the plan indicating the timeframe within which the construction would be demolished and asked the Corporation to decide the plan “with utmost expedition".
Sibal pleaded that since 2011 the TNCA had permission for conduct of as many as 21 matches at the stadium during which the three stands were used. Hence, he pleaded that similar permission must to granted for this IPL season as an interim measure.
Rejecting the plea, Justice Gogoi said, "We are not inclined to allow you to use the three stands. You should not have started the construction without planning permission and approval. Your starting point is stinking… so many compromises with the authorities. We don’t want to open a can of worms.”