Court refuses to lift CSK ban

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 27, 2018

It can hardly be accepted that CSK Chennai was unaware of what was transpiring, the Madras High Court order said

The Madras High Court has declined to lift the two-year suspension of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) from the India Premier League (IPL).

The Court held that the petition by the team’s new owner, CSK Cricket Ltd was “not maintainable” within the limitations prescribed by the Supreme Court.

The IPL franchisee sought a stay on the two-year ban from the IPL T20 cricket tournament recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, which had looked into allegations of match fixing and betting.

The CSK Cricket, in its petition, said thousands of fans were being punished by suspending the franchisee.

The Justice Lodha Committee ought to have heard it before passing the suspension order as the panel was informed that the team’s ownership changed from India Cements Ltd.

The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice TS Sivagnanam also dismissed the PIL filed by the BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on the same grounds.

Swamy later told newspersons that he plans to move the Supreme Court against the ruling.

The petitioner has no independent status as a franchisee, which is only an assignee, and in the given situation, was certainly not required to be heard separately, nor did it seek any such hearing.

The aspect of public interest can also not be brought in to re-open the issue of recommendations of the ustice Lodha Committee, the court Order said.

The Lodha Committee recommended a two-year suspension of the CSK and the Rajasthan Royals, as the team officials were found to be involved in betting.

SC judgement

The judgment of the Supreme Court (forming the Lodha Committee) was delivered on January 22, 2015. It is post this judgment that the agreement came to be executed on February 20, 2015 between the CSK Chennai and the BCCI and India Cements for the transfer of the franchise in favour of the CSK Chennai.

“The petitioner was nowhere in the picture as on January 22, 2015. If it was not in the picture, where could the question be of it being an aggrieved party, which can seek redressal in appropriate judicial proceedings. Thus, this very premise that the petitioner can claim any independent right as an aggrieved party is clearly unsustainable,” the Order said.

It can hardly be accepted that the CSK Chennai was unaware of what was transpiring and could not approach Justice Lodha Committee, if it’s so wanted on its own.

Published on January 20, 2016

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