Deccan Chargers' termination to stand
Deccan Chargers's hopes of returning to the IPL received another blow after the Bombay High Court, on Saturday, overruled the arbitrator's ruling that the BCCI termination be stayed. On Friday, the franchise owners had failed to meet the deadline stipulated to raise the Rs 100-crore bank guarantee ($19 million), a condition set by the court to keep the Chargers alive in the IPL, thereby reviving the BCCI's original termination order. However, in a countermove, the Chargers immediately approached CK Thakkar, the court-appointed arbitrator, who put a stay on the termination order passed by the High Court.
In the ensuing legal thrust and parry, the BCCI filed for an "urgent" hearing challenging Thakkar's ruling today in the High Court. "We moved an urgent appeal in front of the Bombay High Court this morning against the learned arbitrator's ruling, because we felt it was not within his jurisdiction as he is not a superior tribunal to the learned judge of the High Court," a BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo. Thakkar, a retired Supreme Court judge, had been appointed by the High Court to determine the legitimacy of the grounds of the Chargers' original termination.
It is understood the judge, Justice RD Dhanuka, ruled in favour of the original termination. "The judge passed an order staying the order passed by the learned arbitrator on the ground that it was a self-operating order of the High Court, and on the eventuality of the bank guarantee not operating, the termination will take effect. The result of that is, now, the termination has already taken effect," the board official said.
The only avenue left open to the Chargers now is to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court's order.
Meanwhile, in its first formal response on the development, the BCCI welcomed the move of the Hight Court. "The termination of Deccan Chargers franchise was challenged in the Hon'ble Bombay High Court by the DCHL pending the arbitration. A Conditional Order of stay was granted by the Hon'ble High Court pending arbitration on 1st October 2012. The condition to give BCCI a Bank Guarantee of a Nationalised Bank for Rs 100 Crores by 5 pm on 12.10.2012 to cover expenses of IPL 6, was breached by DCHL.
Notwithstanding the Hon'ble High Court's refusal to extend time to DCHL, the Learned Arbitrator passed the Order of Status quo last evening (12.10.2012). BCCI moved an appeal against the Order of Arbitrator and the same was heard this morning. The Hon'ble High Court was pleased to stay the Order of Arbitrator after hearing both the parties. Thus, the termination of DC Franchise stands," Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, said in a media release.
After the Chargers' owners had dragged the issue into the court, the BCCI had to put off floating a tender for a new franchise(s). However, now the BCCI is free to invite bidders for a new franchise, but it is understood the board does not want to take a step in haste and would instead like to see the Chargers' issue end completely before they make their next move.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo