The Board of Control for Cricket in India has won a ₹ 850 crore award in arbitration proceeding in the Indian Premier League media rights dispute with the World Sports Group (WSG).
Justices (Retd) Sujatha Manohar, Mukunthakam Sharma and SS Nijjar were adjudicating on the dispute between the BCCI and the WSG. The arbitration panel has upheld the board’s decision of June 28, 2010 to terminate the IPL media rights agreement with the WGG for overseas territories.
The arbitration verdict will allow the BCCI to get around ₹ 850 crore, which had been kept in an escrow account.
The dispute had started after the BCCI had terminated the IPL overseas media rights agreement with WSG over for an alleged fraud to the tune of ₹ 425 crore. The BCCI had accused former IPL Chairman Lalit Modi and WSG on conniving to inflict the financial damage to the board by way of a facilitation fee pay-out.
The arbitration was invoked after WSG staked claim over the profit they would have made, if the agreement were not cancelled b. They also wanted damages, for wrongful termination of the agreement. BCCI had stuck to its stand that it was a fraud.
“It is relevant that the Award has accepted the case of BCCI that Lalit Modi was guilty of concealing the agreements that had been entered into and also the defaults committed by WSG Mauritius, from the then office bearers,” a former BCCI officer has told IANS after the verdict.
CALL FOR CRIMINAL COMPLAINT
The BCCI counsel P Raghu Raman has now sought a criminal complaint against Modi and the WSG. “Now that a binding arbitration award has clearly pointed out the fraudulent conduct of Modi and others from WSG group, the police complaint given by BCCI to prosecute these persons at least at this stage should be acted upon,” Raman is reported as saying.
The BCCI had accused Modi of committing fraud on BCCI in collusion with WSG officials to the tune of ₹425 crore. The amount was projected as a facilitation fee. The board then felt that the amount was siphoned off from the BCCI and the IPL account to some middle man. The board also accused Modi of committing fraud on BCCI in collusion with WSG.
BCCI, led by the then secretary N Srinivasan, had flagged up the issue and terminated the agreement. The arbitration panel verdict ten years later is binding on the parties.