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Bombay HC sets aside arbitration award directing BCCI to pay over Rs 4,800 crore to DCHL

Setting aside the July 17, 2020, arbitral award, the bench said nearly Rs 34 crore that is due and payable by the BCCI to DCHL and not yet paid, may be given to the company by the Board with interest.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: June 16, 2021 8:49:29 pm
Deccan ChargersIn July, last year, the HC-appointed arbitrator passed an order in favor of the Deccan Chargers, which was one of the initial eight teams of IPL awarded over Rs. 4800 crore to DCHL plus interest and held the termination of franchise illegal. (FILE)

In a major relief to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Bombay High Court on Wednesday set aside an arbitrator’s order that directed it to pay over Rs 4,800 crore to Deccan Chronicle Holding Ltd (DCHL) in a dispute pertaining to termination of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise team Deccan Chargers (DC).

DC was one of the original eight teams in the IPL, which debuted in 2008 and was dissolved in 2012.

A single-judge bench of Justice Gautam S Patel, set aside the 2020 award passed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) C K Thakker, the sole arbitrator who was appointed in September 2012 to ascertain whether BCCI’s termination notice to Deccan Chargers, as illegal.

“The award by sole arbitrator proceeded in places without reasons, in others by ignoring evidence, in yet others by wandering far afield from the contract, and in taking views that were not even possible. It granted reliefs not even prayed for, and took views that were not possible, ie, that no reasonable person could have done,” the HC observed.

Setting aside the July 17, 2020, arbitral award, the bench said nearly Rs 34 crore that is due and payable by the BCCI to DCHL and not yet paid, may be given to the company by the Board with interest.

In July last year, the HC-appointed arbitrator passed an order in favour of the Deccan Chargers, awarding over Rs 4,814.67 crore to DCHL plus interest to be computed from 2012, and held that the BCCI’s termination of the franchise was illegal.

The award was subsequently challenged by the BCCI before the Bombay HC. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for BCCI had submitted that the arbitration tribunal proceeded contrary to the contract while declaring termination to be bad on the ground the condition for the payment to players, support staff etc had been “substantially complied with”.

The dispute arose in 2012 after the DCHL was declared a successful bidder for franchise Deccan Chargers from Hyderabad and an agreement was made between DC and BCCI for 10 years. However, in August 2012, the BCCI issued a show-cause notice for the termination of DC to DCHL. and confirmed it within one month.

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