In what comes as a major relief to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the national cricket governing body has won the legal battle against Deccan Chronicle Holding Ltd. — the owner of the now-defunct Deccan Chargers.
On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court set aside an arbitration award that directed the Board to pay Rs 4800 crores plus 10% interest from 2012 for the “illegal” termination of the Hyderabad Deccan Chargers Indian Premier League team. A single bench of justice Gautam Patel set aside the award (order) passed by an arbitrator retired judge C.K. Thakkar, who was appointed in 2012 as the sole arbitrator of the case.
It was also alleged that it was also a case of discrimination as the other franchises that had actually engaged in corrupt activities were only charged nominal fines or banned for a couple of seasons.
In July last year, retired Supreme Court judge C.K. Thakkar, the arbitrator, had directed BCCI to pay a compensation of Rs 4,814.67 crores and 10 per cent interest from 2012 to DCHL. The board had contested the verdict before the high court.
“We are extremely happy with the development. It has vindicated our position as we had always followed what was in the agreement,” a BCCI official told news agency ANI.
“It is a major relief for the BCCI. The Arbitration Award was very huge, close to Rs 5000 crore. We are thankful to the honourable court,” said an office-bearer while Raju Subramaniam, the BCCI counsel, who had represented the board in the arbitration case, said the verdict vindicates the BCCI stand. “The Arbitration Award was unsustainable. The franchise had not performed its duties and sought compensation. The award could not have been sustained,” the BCCI counsel said.
The tension between BCCI and DCHL started, when the board, headed by N Srinivasan, decided to curtail the contract of Deccan Chargers five years into their 10-year franchise agreement. The Board then and awarded the Hyderabad franchise to Sun TV. Deccan Chargers was one of the founding franchises of the Indian Premier League.