In a big setback to the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), the Bombay High Court on Tuesday upheld the stay granted by an arbitrator against the termination of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR). This further clears the Royals' participation in the fourth edition of the IPL, unless BCCI gets the stay vacated.
Justice SJ Vazifdar on Tuesday upheld the order of arbitrator, (retired justice) BN Srikrishna, who had stayed termination of RR's franchise contract by the BCCI. The cricket board has challenged the arbitrator's order allowing RR's participation in the auction slated for January 8-9.
However, the relief was given on a condition that RR discloses details of its ownership pattern and mode of control in an affidavit by January 3.
"It is necessary that the bona fides of the three owners - Emerging Media (IPL) Ltd, Tresco International and Blue Water Estates Ltd - are established. BCCI is entitled to call for full disclosure of ownership under the franchisee agreements," observed Justice Vazifdar. RR also has to include in their affidavit statements from all the three stakeholders that they are in full control of their investment companies.
The franchise will also have to deposit a security amount of $2.8 million (Rs 12.58 crore approx) as guarantee to BCCI for the contract. They also have been asked to deposit $18 million (Rs 80.90 crore approx) as bank guarantee towards the players' dues. With the high court upholding the stay, the arbitration proceeding will continue unless the BCCI approaches the Supreme Court.
BCCI appeals Kings XI stay
Meanwhile, a division bench of Bombay High Court comprising Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AV Mohta will hear on Wednesday BCCI's arguments in its appeal against the court allowing Kings XI Punjab's participation in IPL-4. The BCCI has challenged the stay on Kings XI’s termination on Dec 8, allowing the Kings to continue being part of the IPL and to participate in the auction. BCCI's appeal claims that the franchise "did not make out a strong prima facie case that its consortium members were always in control" and that the it did not meet the legal requirements needed to get the interim stay.
While acting against Kings XI, BCCI alleged that the franchise has changed its ownership twice in the first three years.