Stay upheld on cricket board’s notice to Kings XI Punjab

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

MUMBAI - The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) got another jolt Wednesday when the Bombay High Court upheld an order of a single judge staying the termination notice issued by it to Kings XI Punjab, a franchisee of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

A division bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice A. Mohta, while upholding the earlier stay granted by Justice S.F. Vazifdar, ruled that the basis of the BCCI’s termination notice to Kings XI was “erroneous and flawed”.

The court’s order comes a day after it quashed the BCCI’s termination notice against another franchisee, Rajasthan Royals.

The court ruling paves the way for the Mohali-based franchisee to take part in the forthcoming IPL auction of players, scheduled for the second week of January 2011 in Mumbai.

The judges observed that it was abundantly clear the BCCI wanted to terminate the contract on the basis of what was factually incorrect. “The termination was anything but fair, and was wholly arbitrary,” the bench remarked.

The bench also cited seven circumstances which supported the decision of the single bench.

The judges said that neither Dabur nor Windy Investments had exercised 100 percent control of the franchise and as all these companies belonged to Mohit Burman, there was no change in the share pattern of the franchisee.

They also rejected the BCCI’s contention that under the franchisee agreement, King’s XI Punjab could not seek injunction from any court and would have to go for arbitration.

Expressing happiness at the outcome, the team’s owners - industrialist Ness Wadia and actress Preity Zinta - told mediapersons that their stand had been vindicated.

“We had always maintained that we were right since 2008. We support the BCCI and shall continue to do so,” Wadia said.

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