Former DC chief registers 'foreign decree' against team owners
Tim Wright, the former chief executive at Deccan Chargers, who in July won a £10.5 million legal dispute against the franchise filed in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, has registered his 'foreign decree' in the City Civil Court in Secunderabad, asking the court to enforce the judgement of the London court. The hearing is set for October 3, but it is understood Wright is also pressing for an emergency hearing which could stall the plans of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (who own Chargers), who have put the franchise on sale on September 13.
A foreign decree refers to a judgement that is heard in a court outside of India but which relates to an Indian company or individual. The claimant needs to file the decree in an Indian court for execution of the judgement delivered by the foreign court. UK and India are signatories to a reciprocal treaty on enforcement and the Indian court will only look at issues as may relate to enforcement. The Indian court is not empowered to look at the merits, but relies on the Judgment made by the courts of England.
In the petition, filed under Section 44A of the Code of Civil Procedure in the City Civil Court at Secunderabad, Wright has sought execution of the order passed by the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division in London, UK, on July 16, 2012, against DCHL. In addition Wright also wants DCHL to pay his legal costs incurred during the court proceedings in London, an amount believed to be in excess of £1 million. He has asked the court to attach and sale of various movable and immovable assets and properties of DCHL, including the Deccan Chargers franchise.
Wright, who took charge after the first IPL, sued both Deccan Chargers Sporting Ventures and DCHL in February 2009 after the franchise owners made repeated breaches of his contract. Following changes made to the team leadership and structure made by Wright, Deccan Chargers won the IPL in 2009 having finished last in the inaugural edition. Wright appointed Adam Gilchrist as the captain and gave Darren Lehmann his first coaching role.
Under the terms of Wright's contract, which contained a £10 million severance guarantee clause, Wright filed a claim in the Royal Courts of Justice in London, which DCHL initially challenged. But they lost the right to have the case heard in India and then formally submitted to the court in London agreeing to the date of the trial and other requirements. However, on the day of the hearing (July 16), DCHL, the defendant, did not report to the court.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo