The Bombay High Court is likely to pronounce on Friday ruling on a plea filed by the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) challenging the six-week relief granted by an arbitrator to expelled Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajasthan Royals.
The single bench of Justice SJ Vazifdar is also likely to decide on another plea filed by Kings XI Punjab, seeking interim protection on the lines of the arbitrator's order in Rajasthan Royals case.
The arbitrator, Justice (retired) BN Srikrishna had on Tuesday stayed the termination of Rajasthan Royals' franchisee agreement, terming it prima facie illegal. The BCCI had quashed the contract on October 10, alleging that promoters of the IPL team had changed shareholding pattern without sanction and approval of the controlling body.
BCCI has challenged the interim order issued by Justice Srikrishna, arguing that the promoters of Rajasthan Royals could not be given advantage of their own wrongdoing. The arbitrator has stayed the BCCI decision for six weeks, giving the Royals a lifeline at a time when the IPL teams are completing procedures for the auction of players and have to intimate IPL by December 6, players they would retain for the next edition.
Punjab seek interim protection
Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab also moved the HC seeking interim protection against termination of its franchisee contract by the BCCI after Srikrishna recused himself on Wednesday as he had represented the Wadia family, a member of which holds stakes in the team. KXIP counsel, additional solicitor general Darius Khambata, argued that the promoters would be put to great disadvantage while negotiating with players if the termination continued. "They would simply ask us, what is your standing?" said Khambata.
Justice Vazifdar, however, was not impressed with his contention. "How would it affect your bargaining power?" the judge asked him.
Counsel for BCCI, KC Sundaram also countered the contention, saying there was difference between the two cases and both could not be put at par.
Khambata also alleged that the BCCI deliberately kept silent on Justice Srikrishna's disclosure so as to buy time.