- (“IPL”)- Indian Premier League
- (“BCCI”)- The Board of Control for Cricket in India
In today’s article we will be looking into the Indian Premier League (“IPL”) and the legal controversies related to it. The IPL is a professional Twenty20 format cricket league in India and contested for nominating players during the month of April and May of every year by franchise teams representing different Indian cities. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (“BCCI”), a society registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 founded the IPL in the year 2007. IPL was to be run by a committee to be constituted by a general body of BCCI and the governing body to be called IPL Governing Council.
IMPORTANT Legal INSTANCES IN IPL HISTORY
Spot Fixing and betting
- The IPL came into legal attention from April 2013 when issues concerning spot-fixing and betting case arose in line with secret information received by Delhi Police about the involvement of the ‘Underworld’ and this information led to the arrest of three cricketers, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on the costs of spot-fixing. The Mumbai Police later arrested film actor Vindu Dara Singh and the BCCI Chief’s son-in-law and the CSK’s former team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan for having allegedly betting and having links with bookies. Others who were included in question were Raj Kundra.
- Later on the date of 26 May, 2013 the BCCI announced that a three-member Commission who would investigate the role of G. Meiyappan within the spot-fixing and betting scandal. The Liability of Gurunath Meiyappan is fastened regardless of the very fact, that he's team official or owner of CSK, under the current rules, the implications of betting would therefore flow…
- On 14 May 2012, an Indian news channel aired a sting operation which accused 5 players involved in spot fixing. Reacting to the news, Indian Premier League president Rajiv Shukla immediately suspended the five uncapped players. The five players were named as, TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav, Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, Delhi cricketer . Although, the report went further on to assert that none of the famous cricketers were found guilty. On the credentials of the report, Rajat Sharma, the editor-in-chief of news reports channel India TV quoted that the channel had no doubts about the authenticity of the sting operation and that they were ready to move to Court.
- Next incident was with Mohnish Mishra who was a part of Pune Warriors India team for the season, admitted to possess said that franchises pay black money, during a sting operation. Mr. Mishra was caught on tape red-handed saying that franchisees paid them black money which he had received ₹15 million (US$210,000) from the later, among which ₹12 million (US$170,000) was black money. After this incident he was suspended from his team.
- Initially the IPL had enforced strict and water-tight guidelines to media covering matches, in keeping with their desire to use an equivalent model sports leagues in North America. Notable guidelines imposed had included the restriction to use images taken during the event unless purchased from cricket.com, owned by Live Current Media Inc (who won the rights to such images) and consequently the prohibition of live coverage from the cricket grounds. These Media agencies in addition had to comply with upload all images taken at IPL matches to the official website. These water-tight guidelines was deemed unacceptable by print media round the world. Upon the imminent threat of boycott, the IPL eased up on several of the restrictions. Leading to 15 April 2008, a revised set of guidelines offering major concessions to the print media and agencies was issued by the IPL and which were accepted by the Indian Newspaper Society.
Pune Warriors Withdrawal
- On 21 May 2013, the IPL franchise Pune Warriors India (PWI) had announced its subsequent withdrawal from IPL. PWI (mentioned above) had faltered to pay the total franchise fee for the 2013 year leading to the BCCI en-cashing the bank guarantee, the Sahara group, which owns the franchise, decided to pull out of the league, which was at the time sky-rocked by the spot-fixing scandal.
Tax Exemption Status
- A controversy was set into motion when the Centre gave away potential revenue of ₹ 45 crore by granting exemption to International Cricket Council (ICC) on the revenue generated from the recently concluded World Cup Cricket Tournament. In subsequent connection the PIL which was filed by Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai seeking a direction to the Maharashtra Government and therefore leading to the taxation(Income) Department to recover entertainment tax from the well-known IPL.
- Following this, on August 2011, the then Minister of Finance, Pranab Mukherjee said that the taxation(income) Department is probing allegations of monetary irregularities and "criminal activities" against a number of the franchisees within the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- Before the above mentioned incident on June 2011, the Madras High Court said it "could not appreciate" the tax exemption to the Indian Premier League and sought a response from Tamil Nadu Government on the problem and requested answers for the same. The PIL filed by Vasan, alias Sakthi Vasan, had contended that the matches conducted by the IPL "are for the entertainment of the public"to answer the Courts questions. He further submitted that the tickets for the IPL matches were being sold at exorbitant rates and therefore the higher range of tickets are purchased by the rich and the affluent class. The petitioner said the taxation (income) Department was the only authority for regulating the tariff for entertainment, which he said would come with the IPL matches, but sadly the department did not regulate the (IPL) tariff.
Suspension of Lalit Modi
- On the above mentioned area on 25 April 2010, the BCCI suspended Lalit Modi, the then IPL chairman, for "alleged acts of individual misdemeanors". The said suspension notice was served on him by Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president, and N Srinivasan, the Board Secretary, by sending an e-mail to an equivalent effect. This event was followed an entire day of negotiations with interlocutors attempting to influence Modi to resign but pre-empted a possible flashpoint at a scheduled IPL governing council meeting, which Modi had said he would attend. Consequently, Modi was officially barred from participating within the affairs of the Board, the IPL and any other committee of the BCCI. Post this event, Chirayu Amin, an industrialist and head of the Baroda Cricket Association, was named interim chairman of the IPL by the BCCI, following Lalit Modi's suspension. At the time, according to BCCI, many important documents went missing from the IPL and BCCI offices. "Many of the records are missing. The IT is asking for documents. We don't have them. We have asked BCCI CAO Prof. Ratnakar Shetty to look into the missing records and papers," said then BCCI President Shashank Manohar stated.
These are some of facts I have found in regards to the legal issues undergone in IPL. Feel free to list similar events, if missed, down in the comments!