Deccan Chargers, the Hyderabad franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the contract of which was terminated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has got a breather from the high court, till September 24.
After hearing the counsels of both parties, the S J Kathawala-headed bench adjourned the case till next Monday and also asked BCCI not to take any action till the next hearing.
The status quo will allow Deccan Chargers to study the affidavit filed by BCCI and prepare its case. Meanwhile, BCCI has been barred from floating any fresh tender for a new IPL team. The court has also asked the board not to encash the amount of Rs 33 crore that YES Bank gave on behalf of Chargers for players' pending fees.
According to BCCI sources, the cricket board has already shortlisted 10 cities, including Ahmedabad, Indore, Nagpur, Cuttack and Ranchi, for an additional team. However, BCCI will now have to wait till the hearing on September 24.
Earlier, on Saturday, Deccan Chargers' promoters had approached the high court for a stay on the termination order.
Sources said BCCI was confident that Deccan Chargers would not be able to use any legal loophole, unlike Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals, which when terminated by BCCI got a stay order from the courts and are still playing. But last year, the board had terminated the contract of the Kochi franchise.
On September 13, BCCI conducted an auction in the presence of a supervisor from the high court in which PVP Ventures, a film producing and real estate firm, came up with a bid for Rs 900 crore.
The bid was rejected by Deccan Chargers, following which the board took the decision to terminate the team contract.
“BCCI is completely justified in this action which was taken with careful deliberation and only due to the absolute inability of the franchise to effectively run the team,” BCCI had said.
“Despite the Bombay High Court appointing a court officer to act as observer at the opening of the tender...Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd rejected the bid that was received in the amount of Rs 450 crore cash and an equal sum in convertible debentures. This was despite the bidder meeting the eligibility criteria of the BCCI,” it added.