Kolkata Knight Riders's fans cheer for the team during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty 20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata on April 25, 2019.(AFP file photo)
Kolkata Knight Riders's fans cheer for the team during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty 20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata on April 25, 2019.(AFP file photo)

Delhi High Court dismisses plea against IPL, calls it ‘publicity interest litigation’

A bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice C Hari Shankar said only those public interest litigations (PIL) that are in the larger interest of society will be allowed.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUL 26, 2019 09:55 PM IST

Terming it a “publicity interest litigation”, the Delhi high court Friday dismissed a plea that had challenged the auctioning process of the Indian Premier League (PIL) and equated the process to human trafficking. The court also imposed a litigation cost of 25,000 on the petitioner for filing a frivolous plea.

A bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice C Hari Shankar said only those public interest litigations (PIL) that are in the larger interest of society will be allowed.

“This is not a public interest litigation, but a ‘publicity interest litigation,” the bench said.

The court was hearing a plea by one Sudhir Sharma, who had contended that players go through an auctioning process wherein they are purchased and sold to bidding corporates, and the whole exercise amounts to illegal human trafficking.

“Playing for these teams, in fact, raised their (players’) prestige,” the bench remarked, adding that the allegation of sale or auction as mentioned in the petition is “derogatory to national players”.

The plea had argued that such practices promote corruption, nepotism and human trafficking as the open bidding is telecast on national television. It said the corruption prevailing in open bidding, selling and auctioning of humans is in “glaring violation of the law and the legal system”.

The bench said this was not a case of auctioning of players at all and it was only for publicity that the names of reputed players have been used in the petition.

“We are dismissing the petition and directing that litigation cost of 25,000 to be deposited with the juvenile justice fund within six weeks. The amount may be used for welfare of children...,” the bench said.

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