The fourth season of the IPL has run into further legal trouble as Kings XI Punjab moved the Mumbai High Court on Monday, seeking redressal from the BCCI's termination of the franchise last month. In its petition, the Punjab franchise contends that the termination was a "deliberate and calculated" move to ensure a new and more lucrative re-bidding process. A source at the Kings XI franchise said the case was expected to be argued by prominent advocates Fali Nariman and Darius Khambatta as well as internal legal counsel of the Wadia family, who are one of the joint owners of the team.
In unexpected decision on October 10, the BCCI terminated the franchises of both King's XI Punjab as well as the Rajasthan Royals who have already taken the BCCI to court on October 25. The Punjab case will be given a date by the Mumbai High Court when it resumes on November 15 after a seasonal festival break. The Rajasthan petition hearing is also expected to be held on the same day.
Punjab had initially considered using negotiations as a means of settling the issue, and had called the termination unfair and not in the IPL's collaborative spirit. As a result of the scrapping of the two franchises, the IPL organisers have said the next edition is almost certain to feature only eight teams.
The fourth edition of the IPL has been dogged by controversies, of which the most prominent include the termination of the two franchises and an ownership dispute between the consortium that won the Kochi franchise earlier this year. The deadline for the rival factions of the Kochi franchise to sort out their differences expires on November 27. In the event of a failure to resolve their problems, the BCCI had said it would consider drafting a fresh tender process to replace the two terminated franchises.