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SC asks BCCI's CoA to file affidavit on IPL bidding by Aug 28

Apex court also issued show cause notice to BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary

Arnab Dutta  |  New Delhi 

supreme court

The on Wednesday ordered the court appointed (CoA) to file an affidavit on August 28, clarifying its stand on the ongoing bidding process for media rights of the (IPL). The apex court's direction came after counsel representing the committee, headed by retired Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, informed the bench about its preference for a closed bidding.

The matter pertaining to broadcasting rights for the flagship cricket league is of huge concern for Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). While the cricket board is in favour of issuing the rights through closed bidding process, a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy against it brought the process under scrutiny. The PIL is seeking to introduce e-auction, replacing closed bidding, to bring more transparency into the matter. However, sources say, fears of losing prospective revenue once e-auction is introduced.

Given the interest that has been shown by companies since the process began, this time is expecting in excess of Rs 16,000 crore for five years - nearly double of Rs 8,200 crore that Sony Pictures had paid for ten years from 2008 to 2017. The tendering process for rights for five editions — 2018 to 2022 — is currently underway. Over 20 entities, including Star India, Sony Pictures, Facebook, Twitter, Reliance Jio, Discovery Channel and Amazon, have already bought Invitation to Tender.

According to sources, while closed bidding has potential to attract bids that are exponentially higher than the floor rate since no bidder will be aware of competing bids during submission. In case of e-auction, would lose this advantage as ongoing bids will be open to all bidders during the process.

CoA's opinion in the matter would be crucial as the committee was appointed by the apex court to oversee BCCI's functioning and to bring transparency into its financial dealings.

reforms

In a separate matter on Wednesday, the has issued show cause notice to the top three members of BCCI, including its acting president C K Khanna and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary for failing to implement reforms suggested by Lodha Committee. It has also issued a summon for the members to appear before the court on 19 September. The court on Wednesday asked the CoA to prepare a draft constitution for

The apex court said while it is open to BCCI's suggestions, the board has not yet taken any steps to implement the reforms. It is also considering the report submitted by CoA asking removal of top three acting office bearers - president, secretary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhury. Earlier, the top brass of was removed, following widespread allegations of irregularities, and the three members where appointed with approval of CoA to run the board.

First Published: Thu, August 24 2017. 01:28 IST
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