Swamy seeks transparency in IPL media rights through SC

NEW DELHI: The Indian Premier League, which saw a brief lull in controversy with Lalit Modi preferring to remain overseas, appears to be in for another storm, this time over broadcast rights.

Bharatiya Janata Party member and Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniam Swamy has moved the Supreme Court seeking a transparent mechanism for auction of telecast rights of IPL cricket matches for the next five years. The auction is slated for 17 July 2017.

Swamy told that his petition for e-auctioning of IPL media rights was expected to come up for hearing on Friday this week or Monday next week. He said that there is a requirement of non-discriminatory and transparent method, with the best international practices, to be adopted for distribution of the valuable media rights so as to ensure the maximum revenue in the larger national interest.

The petition questioned the manner in which the rights worth Rs 250 billion to Rs 300 billion were being distributed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Seeking a stay of the present system, he said the huge investments make it mandatory to have the auction process robust, completely transparent in order to maximise the revenue and prevent vested interest from making undue gains.

Swamy mentioned the matter before the bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar for early hearing of the matter as the BCCI next week.

A lawyer himself, Swamy cited various orders of the apex court after finding irregularities committed by country’s apex cricket body. He said that as the BCCI was found having irregularities, illegalities, misappropriation and asymmetries in the functioning, the Supreme formed the Mudgal Committee as an investigator and then the Justice R M Lodha Committee was formed on 22 January 2015 by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on 30 January 2017 appointed a four-member committee of administrators headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai to run the affairs of the BCCI and implement court-approved recommendations of the Lodha panel on reforms.

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