The Bombay High Court on Thursday said if parents can buy their children cricket gear then they can buy bottled water too. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik was hearing public interest litigation lamenting the lack of basic facilities like drinking water and toilets at cricket grounds.
The bench further noted cricket was not even a game that is originally from India.
The PIL, filed by one advocate Rahul Tiwari, claimed several cricket grounds in the state, including the one in south Mumbai managed by the Mumbai Cricket Association, do not have basic facilities of drinking water and toilets despite budding and professional cricketers playing on them.
The bench then noted that several districts in Maharashtra till date do not get portable water supply everyday.
“Do you know Aurangabad gets portable water once a week. Why can’t you (cricketers) get your own water? You want to play cricket which is not even our game… it is not originally from India,” Chief Justice Datta said.
“You are fortunate your parents can buy you chest guards, knee guards and everything required for cricket. If your parents can buy you all this, then they can buy you bottled water. Think of the villagers who can’t afford water,” he added.
The court said these are luxuries and that in the list of priority, this issue would come in the 100th position.
“Have you (petitioner) seen the list of issues we are going through? Illegal buildings, floods…First let us ensure villages in Maharashtra get water,” the court said.
The bench then said the petitioner should also first take care of his duties before stressing his fundamental right.
“First take care of your fundamental duty. Have you shown compassion for living creatures? Living creatures include human beings. Have you thought about the people of Chiplun or the people of Aurangabad? This will be absolutely at the bottom of the priority list of the government.
What have you done to fulfill your fundamental duty? We don’t want to waste time here. Please understand,” Chief Justice Datta said and adjourned the plea.