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October 27, 2010
The Bombay High Court has adjourned the hearing of Rajasthan Royals' petition challenging their expulsion from the IPL to October 29. Rajasthan had filed the petition against the BCCI's decision to terminate the franchise on October 25.
The Court was told that the team tried to discuss the issue with the board prior to filing their petition, but their request was ignored. The franchise has also asked that they be allowed to keep using the brand name "Rajasthan Royals". According to NDTV, Shilpa Shetty, part owner of Rajasthan, hopes "fairness prevails" now that the judicial process has begun.
The BCCI's decision to end the franchise's IPL affiliation was taken on October 10, on charges of transgression of shareholding and ownership norms that threatened to "shake the very foundation of the tender process". The Kings XI Punjab's IPL connection was also terminated the same day.
In a statement issued at the time of going to court, Rajasthan said, "We do not understand what we have done wrong, and it is therefore our duty to the fans of the IPL, our employees, our players and our partners to pursue the matter."
The BCCI contended that Rajasthan violated the franchise agreement on three counts:
* The original bid document was picked and signed by Manoj Badale, representing Emerging Media (IPL) Limited, a UK-based company, which wins the bid for the Jaipur franchise. The shares of the franchise, however, were held by two individuals, Ranjit Barthakur and Fraser Castellino, who are the only two shareholders representing Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited, the firm which signed the final franchise agreement on March 31, 2008. According to the BCCI, this amounts to stepping into the shoes of the original bidder without being a "group company or entity controlled by the bidder," which violates the tender process.
* The franchise agreement states that no change of control can occur in the first three years. However, the BCCI claimed Rajasthan restructured its ownership pattern twice - in March 2008 and January 2009.
* The board felt Rajasthan had provided wrong information about the corporate structure of Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited. The board also raised the inclusion of Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Limited as "incorrect" as the firm holding the franchisee rights.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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