16 June 2021 | Board of Control for Cricket in India v. Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd. | GS Patel J | 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 834
BCCI had a dispute with Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited, which operated a cricketing franchise Indian Premier League (“IPL”) and owned the Deccan Chargers team. Disputes between the parties led to the termination of the franchise agreement on 10 April 2008. In an arbitration that followed, the sole arbitrator directed BCCI to pay DCHL INR 4814,17,00,000 crores, interest and costs.
Writing in his inimitable style, GS Patel J set aside the award in his judgment of 176 pages except for the limited extent of an award of INR 36 crores.
An effective summary of the judgment that would have taken at least a day to prepare (if not more) is made simple by Patel J’s incredibly pithy summary in paragraph 284. He notes as follows:
“Taking a step back, what emerges is this. At the broadest level, there were three defaults — not paying players and others, creating charges on assets, and the insolvency event (the IFCI winding-up petition). The contract said the first two were curable; if uncured, they invited termination. The third could trigger immediate termination (leaving aside the fact that BCCI gave time to DCHL to have this resolved as well). Not one of the three is convincingly shown to have been cured or not to exist. All three continued. The Award proceeded in places without reasons, in others by ignoring evidence, in yet others by wandering far afield from the contract, and in taking views that were not even possible. In doing so, it brushed aside objections about insufficient pleadings. It granted reliefs not even prayed for, and took views that were not possible, i.e. that no reasonable person could have done. Effectively, it rewarded the party in unquestionable breach of its contractual obligations. That is inconceivable and not even a possible view.”
Access the judgment here.
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