SC rejects Subramanian Swamy’s plea to direct BCCI to e-auction IPL rights

Aug 28, 2017 16:51 IST

The Supreme Court on 28 August 2017 refused to direct the BCCI to conduct e-auctioning for awarding media rights relating to the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.

The decision was taken by a three-judge bench comprising newly appointed Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra and Justices, A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chadrachud. The bench refuted the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy that the ongoing tendering process for awarding media rights for the IPL events be stayed and e-auctioning directed.

The verdict comes as a major relief for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The IPL matches in question are scheduled to start in April 2018.

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Key Details of the Verdict

• Swamy had petitioned to the Supreme Court to direct BCCI to conduct e-auction, in order to make the process more transparent.

• SC had asked the Vinod Rai-headed Committee of Administrators (COA) to submit an affidavit on how the physical option is better than the e-auction.

• Senior advocate Parag Tripathi while arguing on behalf of COA, presented that BCCI’s ongoing tender process was a better option, as all the bidders had put their best bid in a sealed envelope to get the media rights.

• Previously, BCCI had to postpone the auction to 4 September 2017 after the court asked Rai to file q reply by 28 August.

Background

• The Supreme Court had on 28 July sought the response of BCCI on Swamy’s plea that e-auction of the media rights should be done to ensure more transparency.

• At the same time, the apex court had told the BJP leader that it would think over his plea to accord urgent hearing in the case.

• Swamy had said that the amount involved in the award of IPL media rights was around ₹ 25000-30000 Cr and hence, the issue should not be decided in an obscure manner.

• The petition had further alleged that all the activities of the BCCI were undertaken with tacit concurrence of the state governments and the Centre, who are not only fully aware but supportive of the activities of the Board.

• Swamy had further alleged that there was a consistent attempt by vested interests to try and build a monopoly by getting the valuable rights in a non-transparent manner.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court has allowed Swamy to file an interim application highlighting alleged collusion and conflict of interest on behalf of a BCCI functionary, Rajiv Shukla, IPL chairman, who also runs a news channel.

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