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High Court declines to stay India-South Africa ODI in Indore

Indore: The Madhya Pradesh High Court today declined to stay the second ODI between India and South Africa to be held here on October 14 and dismissed a PIL that sought cancellation of the match citing "irregularities" in ticket sales. The Indore Bench of the HC rejected the petition on the ground that it lacked merit.

"Interference in such type of matter is not permissible because all actions have been taken in terms of statutory provisions of law," a division bench of Justices P K Jaiswal and D K Paliwal said while refusing to stay the match. Two local lawyers had filed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) demanding the match be "restrained" on the ground of alleged irregularities in the sale of tickets.

The petitioners' lawyer Anil Ojha contended that due to "black-marketing" and "irregularities" in the sale of tickets, a large number of genuine cricket fans couldn't purchase them. He also argued the state government has exempted the match from entertainment tax despite the fact Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) is not a public welfare organisation and it is earning a "fat" profit from sale of tickets.

However, defending the state's decision to exempt the match from entertainment tax, Additional Advocate General Sunil Jain said the government has used its discretionary powers to waive the levy. MPCA lawyer Ajay Bagadia rejected allegations that tickets were sold in black and irregularities took place in their distribution. These (allegations) were based merely on the basis of apprehension and therefore the PIL deserves to be dismissed, he contended.

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