Dhir & Dhir Associates
In July 2017, BCCI had conceptualized IPL involving competition between City Based Teams for the 20-20 format of cricket. In the bidding process conducted in Jan 2008, Deccan Chronicles Holding Ltd. (DCHL) was declared as the successful bidder for Franchise Deccan Chargers and a Franchise Agreement dated 10.04.2008 was signed between Deccan Chargers and BCCI for a period of 10 years.
In 2012, BCCI started raking up trivial matters, only with a view to deprive DCHL of a valuable right and issued a show-cause notice for termination of the Franchise on 11.08.2012. Though 30 days period was given to cure the defects /issues, the termination was arbitrary and pre-meditated and was confirmed one day before the expiry of the cure period. In fact, an emergency meeting was called by the IPL GC at 9.30 pm, a day before the cure period ended wherein the termination was confirmed.
In this background, DCHL knocked the doors of Hon'ble High Court of Bombay, and thereafter, as per terms of the Franchise Agreement, Arbitration proceedings commenced, with Hon'ble Mr. Justice C. K. Thakker (Retd.), Former Judge, Supreme Court of India, as the sole Arbitrator.
Today, the Ld. Arbitrator passed a detailed and reasoned order, and has upheld the termination as illegal. It was not only on the ground that the same was pre-mature and was confirmed before the expiry of the time given for curing the defect but also because DCHL duly cured defects within the cure period.
"The Arbitration Award is a huge success for our client. It is indeed gratifying that Hon'ble Arbitrator has appreciated the contentions raised by us, and justice has prevailed," said Maneesha Dhir, Managing Partner, Dhir & Dhir Associates.
The Ld. Arbitrator has granted damages to the tune of INR 630 Crores and has granted compensation to DCHL to the tune of INR 4,160 Crores. DCHL has also been granted INR 36 Crores as an admitted amount payable under the Franchise Agreement. The Ld. Arbitrator has also granted interest @10% from the date of initiation of the arbitration proceedings. The counter claim of BCCI has been allowed in part. The net payable amount by BCCI to DCHL is INR 4814.67 Crores plus interest @ 10% from the date of initiation of arbitration proceedings and cost of Rs. 50 Lacs.
However, it is to be yet seen, as to whether BCCI will accept the award and finally settle the dispute or invoke any legal remedy.
Dhir & Dhir Associates is a full-service law firm founded in 1993 to serve as a single-window legal and regulatory advisor globally. The firm has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad along with a representative office in Japan. The firm's areas of practice and sectors include Restructuring and Insolvency, Corporate/Commercial Advisory and M&A, Real Estate & Construction Law, Banking and Finance, Dispute Resolution, Litigation & Arbitration, Capital Markets, Infrastructure & Energy, IPR, TMT, Labour & Employment, Consumer Laws, Criminal litigation, IT, E-commerce & Outsourcing, Governance, Risk & Compliance, Aerospace & Defence and Environment Laws.
Poonam Bisht, Chief Executive Officer Dhir & Dhir Associates, ,+91-9810210233