CHENNAI — In response to Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited's (CSKL) petition in the Madras High Court challenging Justice Lodha Committee's verdict of two year suspension from the IPL, the BCCI has argued that the CSKL is not a legal entity and hence cannot file a case.
"The said CSK is not a legal entity as such. It is the second respondent (India Cements) who participated in the proceedings before the Bombay High Court, Supreme Court, HPPC, DPC, as owner of the franchisee CSK... Though the writ petitioner was incorporated on December 19, 2014, it did not choose to appear before the Hon'ble Supreme Court," the BCCI said in its counter affidavit submitted to the Madras High Court.
In its affidavit, the BCCI said that CSK challenging the order of the committee appointed by the Supreme Court was not "maintainable" as it was a society under the Tamil Nadu Society Registration Act and various Rules framed by this respondent are only in exercise of its powers under the Bylaws.
The affidavit said that there was a possibility of conflict of decisions if the present writ petition is entertained by this Court.
It further submitted that the action of the answering respondent in imposing punishment as a disciplinary action is not in discharge of any public duty.
"This High Court may be pleased to dismiss the writ petition," the BCCI said in the affidavit.
The BCCI counter also submitted that the Supreme Court in its order in the case had made clear that the Justice Lodha Committee's report was binding on the cricket board.
Also, when the committee appointed by the apex Court imposed punishment of two years suspension on CSK, it can only approach the Supreme Court for relief.
It said the Lodha Committee came to the conclusion that Gurunath Meiyappan was in the position of owner and son-in-law of the Chairman and Managing Director of the India Cements and he was considered to be the face of the owner due to his actions.
Supreme Court had accepted the findings of the probe committee after hearing India Cements as well and therefore, it was not open to them to question the findings of the misconduct rendered by the HPPC.
It said that the petitioner entered into a Novation Agreement on February 20 last whereby the rights to operate CSK was transferred to the petitioner.
Though the petitioner was incorporated on December 19, 2014, it did not choose to appear before the Supreme Court.
Therefore, the petitioner has no locus standi to maintain the writ petition since it is only the India Cements which was found guilty and punishment imposed.
It was further submitted that the action of the BCCI in imposing punishment as a disciplinary action was not in discharge of any public duty.
"In other words such actions do not fall in the public law domain. No public duty is involved while imposing punishment against a Franchisee and therefore, the present writ petition under Art 226 is not maintainable", the counter said and prayed for its dismissal.