Lalit Modi’s stint with IPL was high on enigma, but also full of controversies. Among a number of controversies that have been running even till date, a pending litigation with World Sports Group (WSG) brought some delight for BCCI on Monday.
IPL had terminated the media rights agreement for overseas territories with WSG, following which a case was established. WSG staked claim over the potential profit they would have made had BCCI not terminated their agreement, claiming damages for wrongful termination of the agreement, however, BCCI maintained their stance of the organisation being fraud, and that the contract was awarded in wake of vested interests.
An arbitral tribunal consisting of Supreme Court Justices (Retd) Sujatha Manohar, Mukunthakam Sharma and S.S. Nijjar upheld the termination that occurred on June 28, 2010. This would now entitle BCCI to appropriate amounts, to the tune of 850 crore, lying in the escrow account.
“It has been proved that Lalit Modi in conspiracy with WSG officials cheated, and defrauded the BCCI,” senior counsel, Raghu Raman, who represented the BCCI said.
The BCCI had terminated its agreement (IPL overseas media rights) with WSG in June 2010, over dispute arising out of Rs 425 crore-facilitation fee pay-out. WSG (Mauritius) that won IPL media rights in a famous 3am deal with the then IPL commissioner on 15 March 2009, were unable to find a broadcast partner. MSM (Sony) entered into a facilitation agreement (Rs 425 crore) with WSG (Mauritius) before they won the IPL media rights for Indian sub-continent from BCCI. The overseas rights stayed with WSG but on discovering the facilitation agreement, the board called it ‘improper’ and reclaimed the rights.
Subsequently, Sony terminated the facilitation agreement with WSG (Mauritius) and agreed to pay Rs300 crores to the BCCI, as well as another Rs125 crore after recovery from WSG. Ten years after Lalit Modi’s removal, BCCI has recovered the facilitation amount and won the right over Rs 850 crore in escrow account.
“BCCI had raised a complaint in 2010 to Chennai police. Now a civil tribunal has held that it is a fraud conducted by Lalit Modi and some officials of WSG,” Raman said.