BCCI-Kochi set to go for out-of-court settlement


BCCI and scrapped IPL team Kochi’s franchisee may soon sit across the table to amicably resolve their dispute. The Committee of Administrators in the BCCI is looking for an out-of-court resolution to the dispute. The franchisee consortium, it is learnt, too has no issues in going for discussion with BCCI.

The franchisee is more keen on reinstatement of their team. However, the BCCI is not ready to accept the demand and wants to settle the dispute by bilateral dialogue.

The franchisee had invoked arbitration after its IPL agreement was terminated by the BCCI in March 2011. The arbitrator Justice RC Lahoti, former chief justice of India, had awarded a compensation of Rs 550 crore as he found that “the franchisee has been terminated by the BCCI unlawfully”. However, BCCI decided to challenge the arbitration verdict in Higher court. And as of now informed by the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary in the SGM, the board has lost its appeal with compensation increased to Rs 1,080 Cr. The CoA was appraised by Amitabh Chaudhary at the board SGM in the Capital on Sunday about verdict. The CoA now seems keen to settle the matter for once and ever.

KTK co-owners had met the COA a few weeks ago and it was the committee that advised the franchise to approach the BCCI once more through a formal process. The BCCI are meanwhile said to be willing to compensate the Kochi-based franchise, which appeared in two seasons of the IPL, with one full and final settlement. It is then that KTK informed the CoA members about wanting their team back on the IPL stage for the 11th edition of the IPL, reports Indian Express.

In 2015, the justice panel led by former Chief Justice of India, RC Lahoti, had asked BCCI to shell out Rs 550 crore to Kochi franchise. It also ordered that if the board failed to go through with the payment, they will be charged an 18 percent penalty on an annual basis. The BCCI, however, later decided to challenge the arbitration in a higher court.

Kochi, more than the compensation, were keen on reinstatement of their team. There is a feeling in the board that the franchisee wants the team back to sell if off. The Board thus is in favour of a one-time compensation.

Sportstar Live has quoted a source in the KTK camp as saying that “the franchisee was willing to go for settlement. As a consortium, they have no issues about going for discussions with the BCCI, they are open to any out-of-court settlement,” he said.

After the arbitrator’s verdict, the Tuskers team owners had moved courts to attach the BCCI’s assets. “Earlier, the BCCI’s mentality was, ‘we will fight it out and most of the opponents will drain out’. But now, there is a change in its mindset to ‘let’s clean up the BCCI’. That is why this is coming up now. And the arbitrator Justice R.C. Lahoti’s verdict is so clear, he is a former Chief Justice of India, not some random person who has been given the job. Also, the verdict says that an 18 percent penalty should be paid for every year the payment is being delayed. So, the sooner the BCCI settles the issue, the better it will be for everybody,” Sportstar Live has quoted the source as saying.

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