Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a public interest litigation petition that sought to restrain the cricket team promoted by industrialist Vijay Mallya from playing under the banner “Royal Challengers” in the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.

A three-judge Bench, comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and M.K. Sharma, dismissed the petition filed by Krishan Kumar Aggarwal, who alleged that under the garb of “Royal Challengers Bangalore Team,” the United Breweries Group owned by Mr. Mallya was seeking to promote its brand of liquor.

The petitioner sought a direction that the team should not be allowed to play in the league till it changed its name.

The Chief Justice told counsel “liquor is not prohibited in this country.” Counsel replied that liquor advertisement was prohibited on television.

Mr. Justice Raveendran pointed that the word “Royal” was found in another team also. “How would then it become objectionable? The logo is United Breweries. Why do you look for liquor in cricket? You just watch the cricket match.”

Mr. Justice Sharma said “it [team] is not royal Challenge but Royal Challengers,” counsel said even surrogate advertisements should be prohibited.