Court paves way for Rajasthan Royals to bid in IPL auction

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MUMBAI - The Bombay High Court Tuesday upheld a stay order on the termination of Rajasthan Royals contract by the Board of Cricket Control of India, granted by an independent arbitrator, and dismissed the cricket governing bodys appeal against it.

The ruling by Justice S.J. Vazifdar now paves the way for Rajasthan Royals to take part in the IPL-4 auction due to be held in the second week of January.

The court also directed the Rajasthan Royals to deposit $2.83 million as a guarantee amount with the BCCI for the contract and another $18 million as bank guarantee for the players.

BCCI sources said here late Tuesday evening that the board plans to challenge the high court ruling in the Supreme Court.

The high court also directed the Rajasthan Royals franchisee to file an affidavit before it by January 3 giving complete details of its ownership pattern and mode of control.

Justice Vazifdar said it was necessary to establish the bonafides of the three owners - Emerging Media (IPL) Ltd, Tresco International and Bluewater Estates Ltd - and the BCCI was also entitled to ask the full disclosure of ownership under its franchisee agreements.

The Rajasthan Royals affidavit must also give clear details for the mode of control, and statements by the three company owners that they are in complete control of their investment companies.

Last October 10, the BCCI terminated the franchisee agreement with Rajasthan Royals, the IPL-2008 winners, on grounds that the team allegedly committed breach of contract by having unauthorised changes in its corporate structure.

Soon thereafter, Rajasthan Royals moved the high court against the BCCIs decision, even as the two parties agreed to arbitration proceedings to resolve the issue.

Retired Justice B.N.Srikrishna, acting as arbitrator, November 30 granted a stay on the Rajasthan Royals termination of contract by the BCCI, which the board challenged in the high court.

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