Pro Volleyball: Madras HC denies stay, but litigation looms large

Pro Volleyball,Pro Volleyball PIL,Volleyball Federation of India,Baseline Ventures,Pro volleyball league India

The decks for the launch of the Professional volleyball league in India are cleared as Madras High Court turned down a plea to grant a stay the Pro Volleyball league, slated to start in February next year.

The player draft to complete the six franchisee-bases teams will take place in New Delhi on Friday (November 14).

The Madras High Court, hearing on a Public Interest Litigation petition by former Kerala State team captain Sebastian George, has declined an interim stay on the operations of the Pro Volleyball League commercial rights agreement between the Volleyball Federation of India and Pro Volleyball commercial rights owner company Baseline Ventures.

The Division Bench comprising Mr Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and Mr Justice P Rajamanickam, however, has advised the petitioner to serve notices the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the VFI and the Baseline Ventures  for presenting their defence and case in the court.

Also Read: Pro Volleyball League: Organisers unveil six teams for inaugural season

The procedure of serving notices, replies and rejoinder is a time-taking process that will ensure no legal hurdle at least in the present case for the launch of the Pro Volleyball league.

However, the VFI and Baseline Ventures now cannot escape the litigation process in the present case.

The petitioner has pleaded that the VFI-Baseline Venture is loaded with lopsided clauses, which will hurt the interest of the sport and the sportspersons. The petition also accuses the VFI of bypassing the tender process, mandatory for a government institution, and finalising the contract with personal level negotiations. It states, the deal guarantees only ₹15.91 over a ten-year period whereas the earlier, now terminated, contract with another party would assured the federation a guaranteed ₹32.71 crore guaranteed revenue of ₹32.71 crore over the similar period of time.

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