IPL 2021: PIL Filed in Bombay HC Seeking Damages from BCCI Towards Procuring Medical Requirements

Public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed by Advocate Vandana Shah in Bombay High Court seeking damages from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to use towards procuring medical requirements for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her plea mentioned before the HC on Tuesday, Advocate Shah asked whether the IPL is an essential service and also sought a direction to the BCCI to pay Rs 1,000 crore as “damages” and make donations from their profit to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

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The PIL also sought cancellation or postponement of matches played.

In her plea, Shah mentioned, “The BCCI should be held responsible for conducting a tournament in such sensitive times. The petition said even though the IPL players and staff are in the bio-bubble, the possibility of getting infected by coronavirus cannot be ruled out and in such a situation, the spread would be higher as players do not follow the social distancing norms.”

Shah further told the court that resources being deployed for the IPL matches should be used for COVID-19 patients. “Is IPL an essential service? I am also seeking a direction to the BCCI to pay Rs 1,000 crore as damages and also make donations from their profit to hospitals treating COVID-19 patients, Shah said.

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The petition also mentions, “From April 14 till April 27 India is almost in a state of internal emergency and some cricketers have also tested positive for coronavirus. Seemingly, Australia has asked their cricketers to be sent home. Some have already returned. In India, cases have reached an earth-shattering record of 3.4 lakhs a day. Other countries have to rush to supply oxygen and other medical supplies to India.”

A few hours after the petition was filed, the Board suspended the ongoing season of the tournament after a number of cases were reported among players and staff.

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“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health, and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind,” the BCCI said in a statement.

The matter will be heard on May 6.

(With PTI Inputs)

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