• HC recommends petitioner to approach Lodha Committee over Kochi Tuskers’ inclusion

    In September 2011, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala team was terminated by the BCCI for breaching its terms of an agreement.

    Kochi Tuskers Kerala
    Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
    (Photo by STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

    The richest cricket board, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is going through some tough times. The Lodha Committee appointed by the Supreme Court are regularly keeping an eye on the BCCI with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) monitoring the decision making and administration.

    The board is due to pay around Rs. 1200 crores to settle their account with the terminated IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala, as per the judgment made by Justice RM Lodha, a former Chief Justice of India. Subsequently, a petition was filed against the BCCI stating that the dismissal of the franchise was injustice and huge revenue losses have been incurred by the government in form of taxes.

    Lodha Committee’s role

    The petition had also mentioned that Kochi hasn’t been allowed to host matches after the termination of the franchise. The High Court had asked the petitioner to consult the Lodha Committee over the franchise’s inclusion in IPL 2018. The court stated that the committee can handle the matter in a more organised and appropriate manner.

    “All these and any other grievance the petitioner has could more appropriately be dealt with by the Chief Justice RM Lodha Committee and if the said committee has any difficulty and/or reservation in examining the said issues, the same can be forwarded to the appropriate forum in BCCI itself. But surely, at the first instance this court would be reluctant to interfere in the matter,” the HC observed while considering the PIL.

    Earlier, it was also reported that BCCI and co-owners of the franchise had been in talks to settle the issues. But the matter will now be reviewed by the Lodha Committee.

    Kochi Tuskers termination

    In September 2011, the Kochi Tuskers Kerala team was terminated by the BCCI for breaching its terms of an agreement. The franchise was not able to furnish a new bank guarantee for 2011 period before the deadline. As per the terms, each franchise has to submit a bank guarantee every year that covers the fees payable to the Indian board.

    “Because of the irremediable breach committed by the Kochi franchise, the BCCI has decided to encash the bank guarantee [for 2010] in its possession and also terminate the franchise,” said the then board president N Srinivasan.

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