The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SC breather for Cup sponsor

New Delhi, Jan. 31: The Supreme Court today allowed remittance of foreign exchange by the main sponsors of the cricket World Cup, LG Electronics.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice V.N. Khare, Justices Y.K. Sabharwal and Arijit Passayat, however, made it clear that the remittance would be subject to the final order of the court after hearings are over.

This ruling, for the time being and till the end of the Cup, has nullified an order of Delhi High Court that no foreign exchange will be remitted outside the country if Indian players are not allowed to play.

LG challenged the apex court order, saying it would not be able to fulfil its obligations as sponsor as this aspect of the case was different from Indian players challenging the ICC contractual terms. The court adjourned hearings on LG’s appeal for eight weeks after today’s interim order.

The high court had directed the Union government and the Reserve Bank of India that no foreign exchange, either in the form of sponsorship money or damages by the BCCI to the ICC, be released to the ICC if the Indian team was debarred from playing.

LG contended that the row between the BCCI and the ICC was sparked by the ICC’s charge that Indian players had violated its contract by agreeing to endorse products of non-sponsors. Counsel for LG, former attorney-general Ashok Desai and former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram said RBI has already issued notices to sponsors on the basis of the high court order.

HC ruling on logo

Delhi High Court dismissed an interim application by the ICC seeking to restrain Philips India Ltd and its authorised departmental stores from using the logo, mark and mascot of the World Cup in their promotionals, according to agency reports. But the court restrained Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and its dealers from using the Cup logo.

LG argued that “as per the arbitration clause in the contract, the matter is pending before the Swiss court of arbitration” and that Delhi High Court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain the petition of a public interest litigation filed by former BCCI chairman N.K.P. Salve and cricketers, including Kapil Dev.

The company said it has already spent about Rs 300 crore. It is a global partner of the ICC and has a valid and existing contract with the council, it added.

LG has acquired commercial and marketing rights for not only this World Cup but for all global cricketing events, including the next World Cup, over a period of five years starting from 2002.

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