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End of a decade-long battle: Shot in the arm for BCCI as DCHL loses in Bombay HC | Cricket News – Times of India

June 16, 2021

MUMBAI: Ahead of bringing out a tender document to sell two new franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, the BCCI received a huge shot in the arm on Wednesday morning when the Bombay High Court reversed Justice (retd) CK Thakar’s arbitration with eight private and national banks that were fighting a legal tussle on behalf of Deccan Chargers Holdings (DCHL).
In July last year, close to eight years after the BCCI had terminated the Deccan Chargers and the two parties entered into an arbitration to settle the dispute over grounds on which the franchise was removed from the IPL, the arbitrator had asked the BCCI to pay DCHL Rs 4800 crore.
Board officials, nevertheless, had remained convinced that the arbitration remained thoroughly one-sided and would challenge it in a higher court.
“That stand has been vindicated,” BCCI sources told TOI on Wednesday.
Major drama had ensued back in 2012 when the BCCI had threatened the Chargers over non-payment of dues to cricketers representing the franchise and for mortgaging the franchise to a consortium of lenders without keeping the Board informed.
The consortium of eight lenders — that pursued the arbitration with BCCI comprised ICICI Bank Ltd, Yes Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd, IDBI Bank Ltd, Ratnakar Bank, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd, and Religare Finvest Ltd. These lenders had filed an affidavit in court agreeing to fund the debt-laden franchise.
DCHL had bought the Deccan Chargers in 2008 for US$107m (@ Rs 40 per dollar back then) through an auction conducted by the BCCI.
TOI had reported earlier, quoting BCCI sources, how the IPL’s governing council back then had offered to “help” DCHL sell the franchise in 2012 – before the arbitration process began – by bringing a new owner on board and had floated an advertisement for the same, calling for potential buyers.
Hyderabad-based PVP Ventures had bid Rs 900 crore for the team back then but DCHL rejected the bid because they found the terms of payment “unacceptable”.
It was then that the BCCI took the extreme step of terminating the franchise and floated a fresh tender for Sun TV Network to eventually come on board.
After Justice (retd) Thakar’s arbitration order came in July last year, asking the BCCI to pay Rs 4800 crore to the lenders, the cricket board’s legal team remained confident that the order would get reversed if BCCI had challenged it in court. “It was thoroughly one-sided, and we can see that now (with the Bombay HC order),” sources said.
With the DCHL arbitration settled, the BCCI will now have to settle the tussle with another terminated franchise, Kochi Tuskers, before they decide to bring in two new teams.
Unlike the DCHL, BCCI sources have admitted to TOI in the recent past that their terminating the Kochi Tuskers in 2011 was arbitrary, and wasn’t backed by enough legal reasons.
“The BCCI will have to settle it with the Tuskers. The arbitration between BCCI and Tuskers was conducted by former CJI RC Lahoti and the order talks about how the termination was done wrongfully. That chapter too needs to be closed now,” sources added.

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