The Bombay High Court on Friday restrained World Sports Group, Mauritius from proceeding with the arbitration involving MSM Satellite (Singapore) subject to the latter depositing R 300 crore with it within six weeks.
The dispute relates to the R 425 crore “facilitation fee” paid by WSG Mauritius in securing rights for the Indian subcontinent to telecast IPL matches for nine years for MSM Satellite. It is alleged that money was paid to suspended IPL chairman Lalit Modi as a kickback.
Modi had allegedly ‘compelled’ MSM Satellite to enter into Facilitation Deed, and make the payment overseas. However, after Modi’s suspension, the BCCI had raised a claim over the amount and demanded the amount from MSM Satellite, which had by then paid R 125 crore in three installments to WSG Mauritius. Following the demand, MSM Satellite has filed two suits — one for recovery of R 125 crore already paid and another to get the Facilitation Deed declared void.
In the second suit, MSM Satellite had also sought a stay on the arbitral proceedings WSG has initiated before International Chamber of Commerce. A single judge bench of Justice Roshan Dalvi had, however, on August 9, dismissed its plea for injunction.
MSM Satellite had moved in appeal against the August 9 order before a division bench. Their counsel Dushyant Dave contended the money which should have been paid to BCCI went to the Mauritius based company, and therefore required to be brought back in public interest. WSG counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted that the allegation of fraud was being made only for avoiding arbitration.
Singhvi’s contentions, however, failed to impress the division bench.