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Bombay HC declines to stay termination of Deccan Chargers from IPL membership

Mumbai, Oct 18 (PTI): The cash-strapped Deccan Chargers will remain terminated from the Indian Premier League after the Bombay high court on Wednesday set aside a status quo order passed by an arbitrator on cessation of its membership in the league.

Hearing a petition filed by the Board of control for Cricket in India, Justice R D Dhanuka quashed the status quo order passed by the arbitrator appointed by the High Court to resolve the dispute between BCCI and Deccan Chronicles Holdings Limited (DCHL).

On another petition filed by DCHL against termination of the contract of its IPL franchise, the court refused to grant any interim relief, but said the legality of the termination would be decided by the arbitrator.

The court's orders on the two petitions effectively means that the termination of Deccan Chargers' IPL membership would stand, according to legal circles.

The arbitrator, retired supreme court judge C K Thakker, had last week passed an order for status quo to be maintained following which BCCI had moved the High Court in appeal.

”Arbitrator had no jurisdiction to grant status quo. On the same day (October 12), the high court had denied extension of time to DCHL to furnish Rs 100 crore bank guarantee as directed by the court on October 1,” Justice Dhanuka said.

He further said the arbitrator is not “superior” to the High Court and hence cannot pass an order which overrides the high court's direction.

Criticising the plea made by DCHL before the arbitrator for status quo, the court said, “Once the High Court has rejected relief, the plea made before the arbitrator is not maintainable.”

Justice Dhanuka noted that the order passed by another judge of the court on October 1 directing DCHL to furnish bank guarantee was “self operative and protective of the interests of both DCHL and BCCI”.

The court also refused interim stay on termination of IPL franchise as sought by DCHL in a separate petition.

”DCHL has still not furnished bank guarantee. Hence there is no change in circumstances to grant relief to DCHL. No case is made out for interim relief for granting stay on termination. The application seeking stay is a gross abuse of law,” Justice Dhanuka said.

The court, however, observed that the legality and validity of the termination would be a subject matter before the arbitrator.


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