The Supreme Court has directed the Chennai Corporation to de-seal three stands with 12,000 seats in M A Chidambaram Stadium for today's IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils.
A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra, however, said that the stands will remain closed for other matches and they cannot be opened without its permission.
The court's order came as a welcome respite for thousands of fans who have bought tickets to watch the night match here Tuesday.
The court, while issuing its interim order, found prima facie grounds for allowing the match. It did not find substance in the reasons for cancelling the structural stability certificate by the PWD.
The state government had contended that the nomenclature of the three stands differed from the plans that was submitted earlier.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) contended that it was not given notice about the withdrawal of the certificate by the PWD.
Without going into the merits of whether the construction of the three stands was illegal or not, the bench allowed their usage, saying that tickets had already been sold for the stands and it would create law and order problem if people were not allowed to get in to watch the match.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) seeking its direction to de-seal the three stands. The Association assured the bench that the stands will not be used in any match without the court's permission.
TNCA had challenged Chennai Corporation's action of sealing three stands --I, J and K--on the ground that they had been constructed without prior permission from the authorities concerned. It had submitted that the three sealed stands were part of renovation work going on in the stadium and six stands had already been allowed by the Corporation.
The cricket body had pleaded that the stands be de-sealed as tickets had already been sold for today's IPL match. Seven IPL matches had been played in the stadium this year without any hitch, it had said.
The Chennai Corporation had on May 12 sealed the three stands in the stadium, saying TNCA was yet to get planning permission and building approval.
The sealing came after the Supreme Court stayed the February 6 order of the Madras High Court.
The high court had set aside orders of the Tamil Nadu Housing and Urban Development Department, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, the Chennai Corporation and the Additional Commissioner of Police, in 2011 and 2012 which restrained TNCA from using the reconstructed stands in the stadium.