Yes Bank to intervene in BCCI-Deccan Chargers' IPL contract row

The Court had earlier ordered status quo to be maintained regarding the termination of Deccan Chargers by BCCI AFP

Mumbai: Sep 25, 2012

Yes Bank, the financial supporter of beleagured Deccan Chronicles Holdings Ltd (DCHL), on Tuesday moved the Bombay High Court in west India, saying it would like to intervene in the petition filed by DCHL challenging the decision of the BCCI to terminate its IPL franchise ‘Deccan Chargers’.

Yes Bank Counsel Milind Sathe filed a Chamber Summons before Justice S J Kathawala, urging that they should be made a party to the petition and heard in the matter.

DCHL Counsel Zal Andhyarajunam asked for time to file a reply, following which the court fixed the matter on Wednesday to hear the parties and pass an order on the plea made by Yes Bank.

Yes Bank put up three conditions in their plea, saying unless these were met it would not be possible for them to give financial support to DCHL and that they may consider withdrawing the finance given to them. The bank has issued demand drafts for Rs 33 crore for payment to players of Deccan Chargers and these DDs are lying with BCCI.

The three conditions put forth by Yes Bank are withdrawal of BCCI decision to terminate the Deccan Chargers’ franchise, deposit whatever amount is due or receivable by Deccan Chargers in their account with Yes Bank and the Cricket Board release Rs 41 crore due to Deccan Chargers.

The bank said if these conditions were not met, the entire exercise of trying to save the franchise would be futile.

“If the franchise does not survive and we do not get the money, then what is the use of giving Deccan Chargers Rs 33 crores to clear its dues?” its counsel said.

The Court had on Monday asked BCCI and DCHL to settle their dispute over termination of the franchise by referring the matter to a mutually acceptable arbitrator. Both the sides were asked to submit names of arbitrators on Tuesday. But it could not be done in view of plea made by Yes Bank.

DCHL had challenged BCCI’s decision taken at its emergency IPL Governing Council meeting in Chennai last week to terminate the contract of the cash-strapped Deccan Chargers.

The Court had earlier ordered status quo to be maintained regarding the termination of the franchise by BCCI.

The Cricket Board had filed an affidavit listing a series of alleged breaches committed by Deccan Chargers. Arguing that the players had not been paid, BCCI said around 20 banks had lent money to DCHL with dues to the tune of Rs 4000 crore pending against the group.

DCHL had admitted yesterday in the Court that it had to pay substantial debts but assured that it would meet its obligations. “We are under financial constraints but are making bonafide attempts to resolve them. We (Deccan Chargers) have been running the franchise since last 3-4 years and would continue to do so,” its Counsel said.

BCCI, he argued, had not given them a chance to make a representation and terminated their franchise abruptly. This, he said, was very unfair despite assurance by banks, mainly ICICI, that the company would meet its obligations.

BCCI, on the other hand, argued Deccan Chargers had to pay the players, the Cricket Board and run the franchise. In order to run a franchise, one needs at least Rs 150 crores, its counsel Rafiq Dada told the court.

BCCI further said the contract of the players will come up for renewal on October 31. How will Deccan Chargers renew their contract or even hire new players unless the existing ones are paid?, the Cricket Board’s counsel asked.

“If for every bit of money, they (Deccan Chargers) are going to ask the banks, then how can they run the franchise?, he asked. (PTI)