Cricket: Madras HC div. bench reprieve to BCCI

NEW DELHI: The cricket telecast saga keeps meandering as new twists and turns keep getting added. New developments may just give the Indian cricket board some relief as it grapples with various internal issues.


The Madras high court today set aside an order of a single judge who held as improper the action of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in canceling the tender to telecast cricket matches to be played in India awarded to ''Zee Telefilms'' and indicting former Board president Jagmohan Dalmia for acting in an improper and unfair manner, news reports filed by United News of India and Press Trust of India said from Chennai.

A division bench comprising chief justice Markandeya Katju and Justice Ibrahim Khalifullah also set aside the order passed by Justice K P Sivasubramaniam, who had directed the BCCI to call for a fresh tender and also had given the liberty to ''Zee Telefilms'' to sue BCCI for damages, the news report stated.

The Bench also allowed appeals filed by the BCCI and Jagmohan Dalmia while dismissing another appeal filed by ''Zee Telefilms''.

The division Bench held that records clearly demonstrate that there was no concluded contract between Zee Telefilms Ltd and the BCCI.


Taking exception to the single judge's remarks that the cancellation was vitiated by arbitrariness and unfair action of the BCCI and Dalmia, in particular, the judges held "these remarks against the BCCI and Dalmia are unjustified, uncalled for and unsustainable."

According to the agency reports, the Bench allowed an appeal by the BCCI challenging Justice Sivasubramanian's order directing it to call for fresh tenders. It also allowed an appeal by Dalmia against the single judge's remarks against him.

However, it dismissed a third appeal by Zee for a direction to the BCCI to allot the contract for telecasting cricket matches to it in the wake of the single judge's order that the cancellation was improper.

Meanwhile, sources in the BCCI told that the Board has not yet taken a final view on the telecast rights issue, even as it grapples with matters related to coaches and formulating a comprehensive media policy for cricketers.

Last month, two officials of the BCCI had also unveiled a feasibility study for the Board to have a sports channel of its own, projecting low cost of operation and huge profits over the years. This study too hasn't been discussed by the full BCCI board yet.

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