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Move IPL matches out of Maharashtra, SC upholds high court verdict

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected Mumbai Cricket Association's plea against the Bombay high court's order to move Indian Premier League (IPL) matches out of drought-hit Maharashtra.

The SC agreed with an earlier high court decision that ordered 13 matches to be moved out of Maharashtra, which is reeling under the worst drought in decades, saying it was better to move out the games in "wake of the drought."

On April 13, the Mumbai High Court had ordered that games of the IPL tournament scheduled after April 30 be moved out of the state, saying assertions of financial liabilities made by the organizers could not overrule the "larger cause of the people" and that the court could "not turn a blind eye to the plight of the people."

The high court was deciding on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) submitted by an NGO against organizing IPL matches in Maharashtra, where nearly 70% of the state has been declared drought-hit. The PIL said that around 60 lakh litres of water was projected to be used for preserving cricket pitches in the three venues that will host the matches.

The order had an impact on 13 matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, including the final schedule for May 29 in Mumbai's Wankhede stadium. The final was later moved to Bengaluru.