The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected views that shifting the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament outside India will harm the country's image.
A bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam made the observation while refusing to accord an urgent hearing to a lawsuit demanding that the government be asked to provide requisite security for holding IPL matches here in India itself.
"No, no, it will not harm India's image," said the bench, adding: "Some say conducting elections is more important."
The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL organisers had decided to shift the match venue outside India to South Africa last month after the government, hard-pressed for security forces for free and fair conduct of the 2009 general elections, expressed its inability to match the tournament organisers' demand for security forces.
Refusing to accord any urgent hearing to the lawsuit filed by two Delhi residents, Harsh Vardhan Surana and Pradeep Aggrawal, the bench said it would hear the matter only April 20, the day decided for it by the apex court's registry.
In their lawsuit, Surana and Aggrawal have contended that shifting the venue for IPL tournament to another country will not only impair the nation's image, but would also prove to be a huge business loss to Indian industry and the government exchequer.