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Madras HC reserves judgment on CSK plea against Lodha Committee order

MUMBAI: The Madras High Court has reserved orders on the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings’ petition challenging Justice Lodha Committee’s order suspending it for two years.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice TS Sivagnanam also said that the petition filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy “is subject to the result of the present petition”.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had challenged CSK’s suspension in the Madras High Court alleging that that former IPL chairman Lalit Modi had a role to play in the suspension.

Earlier, the court had rejected Swamy’s plea for an early hearing of his PIL challenging the suspension of CSK and Rajasthan Royals from IPL. The court had made it clear that the hearing would come up on the scheduled date, which is 14 and 15 December.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has informed the court that it does not recognise CSK as an IPL franchise as the latter is only a brand name of the franchise.

It also argued that CSK Cricket Ltd, which is now a holding company of the IPL franchise, was not at all an aggrieved party and hence not entitled to file the petition.

Appearing on behalf of the Bihar Cricket Association, senior counsel Nalini Chidambaram submitted that the petition filed by CSK could not be maintained as Justice Lodha Committee’s records were not made available before this court.

She submitted that the Lodha Committee should have been impleaded as a party as serious allegations of personal bias and non-application of mind were levelled against the members of the Lodha Committee.

CSK counsel Dushyant Dave submitted that the question of impleading the Lodha Committee did not arise as it functioned on behalf of the BCCI.

He also argued that the Lodha Committee had stated in its report that the report would be binding on CSK Cricket Ltd as well. The BCCI, he contended, was part of the tripartite agreement involving the BCCI, India Cements Ltd and CSK Cricket Ltd.

He further submitted that “so far CSK has paid Rs 70 crore to the BCCI as franchisee fee which was accepted by it and Rajasthan Royals has paid Rs 26 crore, and after receiving this they cannot say that we have no locus standi to question the report of the Justice Lodha Committee.”