Both the State and the Centre had cleared the project from the view point of environmental impact assessment and coastal regulation zone with the full knowledge that the construction of the stands had been completed.

The Madras High Court on Thursday permitted the use of the three new stands at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk here for the Indian Premier League (IPL) semi-final and final matches on Friday and Sunday.

Passing orders on a petition by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), a vacation Bench of Justices V. Dhanapalan and T. Mathivanan granted interim injunction for a week restraining authorities from interfering with the use of I, J and K stands by spectators.

It said that the petitioner had made out a prima facie case. The judges directed the cricket association to give a proper undertaking to the Chennai Corporation in respect of safety, security and maintenance of the stands. The necessary taxes should be paid.

The Bench ordered notice of admission of the petition, returnable by two weeks. It made it clear that the interim order was subject to the outcome of the writ petition.

In the petition, the TNCA stated that construction of the stands, with a seating capacity of 13,100, commenced in anticipation of planning permission. Both the State and the Centre had cleared the project from the view point of environmental impact assessment and coastal regulation zone with the full knowledge that the construction of the stands had been completed. The petitioner was not responsible for any delay in processing the application.

Voluntary gesture

The TNCA said that pursuant to a notice issued by the Chennai Corporation on August 8, 2011, it voluntarily stopped using these stands, though they were ready and had been used for several matches, including the 2011 World Cup and IPL matches. During the Champions League matches in September, October and November last year and in any of the IPL V games, the stands were not used.

As the Chennai Super Kings are the defending champions, their home stadium had been given the opportunity to host the playoff game on May 25 and the final on May 27.

Senior counsel for the association P.S. Raman said that these matches were the most prestigious of the tournament.

They would be beamed live all over the world. If the stands were not allowed to be used, there would be a loss of face for the entire cricket establishment.

The association prayed the court to quash the Chennai Corporation's notice of August 8 last year and consequently direct the authorities to permit the petitioner to use the stands pursuant to the letter of May 16 this year of the Housing Secretary to the CMDA, approving the multi-storied buildings panel's recommendation for issue of planning permission to the association for the three stands.

In its counter, the CMDA submitted that the three stands had been constructed without authorisation. They had not been used till date. The association should wait till the receipt of planning permission approval from the CMDA and building permit from the Chennai Corporation.

The Bench said it was granting an interim injunction in the light of the events scheduled for May 25 and 27.

More In: Chennai | Sport