Mumbai: Mumbai High Court will hear on September 4 an appeal against its earlier order declining to stay the contract awarded by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to International Management Group (IMG) towards clothing sponsorship for international matches to be played in the next three years.
The appeal has been filed by Gayatri Arts, a city-based company, claiming that it had made the highest bid of Rs 90 crores through a legal tender advertised by BCCI in newspapers. Yet, the contract was awarded to IMG-TWI combine, it said. The appellant alleged that BCCI had not accepted the highest offer and its actions were malafide and based on extraneous considerations. Besides, BCCI had admitted in an affidavit that Gayatri Arts was the only bidder, its promoter Sham Dhumalkar contended in the appeal. Gayatri Arts alleged that IMG had not made any bid in response to the advertisement, but, BCCI, in its Marketing Committee meeting held on May 22, granted the contract to IMG in an arbitrary manner. Gayatri Arts also alleged in an affidavit that Jagmohan Dalmia had resigned from the committee of BCCI complaining that the offers were low. He was persuaded to rejoin the committee prior to the Marketing Committee meeting held on May 22, the appellant said. Gayatri Arts claimed that it had made the highest bid of Rs 90 crore and BCCI had issued a letter asking them to confirm the offer, which was accepted in a reply sent to the cricket Board. The plaintiff claimed that BCCI's letter constituted a concluded contract between the two. BCCI, on the other hand, submitted that its communication to Gayatri Arts was not a confirmation letter of contract but a mere 'query'. BCCI claimed that the offer made by IMG was not only for clothing sponsorship but also for non-leading arm and trophy title as well. BCCI said not only was the offer of IMG higher but also it was justified in deciding that it will deal with one sponsor instead of three. Justice D K Deshmukh had earlier dismissed a notice of motion taken out by Gayatri Arts in its suit filed against BCCI for awarding the contract to IMG. He was of the view that prima facie it could not be said that there was a concluded contract between the plaintiff and BCCI. On June 13, Justices B N Srikrishna and Nishita Mhatre had disposed of an appeal filed by Sham Dhumalkar, proprietor of Gayatri Arts, challenging the earlier order of Justice D K Deshmukh who refused to stay the contract to IMG-TWI. The bench had refused to stay the Transworld International (TWI). But the judges gave liberty to the appellant to move the notice of motion afresh for staying the contract before Justice D K Deshmukh who had earlier rejected a similar plea. Accordingly, Gayatri Arts moved a notice of motion but Justice D K Deshmkh dismissed its plea. Being aggrieved it has now filed an appeal. Extras: Post your views