HC seeks explanation from BCCI on TV rights

Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to explain the decision making process by which it awarded the contract for telecast rights of cricketing events for 1999-2004 to Prasar Bharati.

Justice Manmohan Sarin, who had earlier asked BCCI to file an affidavit in this regard, also asked the Board to produce minutes of meetings held by it to award the contract to the public broadcaster.

The court is seized of a petition filed in 1999 by Delhi-based M/S Combine Advertising Co., which accused BCCI of awarding the contract to Prasar Bharati in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner without inviting any open bids.

Interestingly, the main prayer of the petitioner i.e. quashing of the award of telecast rights to Prasar Bharati has become in fructuous as the period (1999-2004) is already over.

Appearing for BCCI, senior counsel Arun Jaitley questioned the locus standi of the petitioner and urged the court not to entertain the petition.

On the other hand, petitioner's counsel Shyam Moorjani sought compliance of the court's earlier direction to BCCI to produce relevant records before it.

When Jaitley claimed commercial confidentiality in the matter, Moorjani said BCCI could at least show the decision making process, if not the actual bids, if any.

The court asked BCCI to file an additional affidavit explaining the decision making process by which the contract was awarded to Prasar Bharati and also place before it the minutes of the meetings held in this regard.

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