Mumbai: In yet another snub to the BCCI, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected their appeal against the stay order on the termination notice served to Kings XI Punjab and said that the termination was, in fact, "incorrect".
The two-member Division Bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Anoop Mohata ruled that the entire basis of the letter of termination issued by the BCCI to the Mohali franchise was "erroneous and flawed".
"It is abundantly clear that BCCI wanted to terminate the contract on the basis of what was factually incorrect. Termination was anything but fair and was wholly arbitrary," observed the Court.
The order means the Mohali franchise can take part in the BCCI's players auction to be held on January 8 and 9.
The Division Bench cited seven circumstances which supported the decision of the single bench.
"The members of the consortium had exercised control of franchise," the Division Bench observed.
"Neither Dabur nor Windy Investments had exercised 100 per cent control of franchise and all these companies belonged to Mohit Burman. There was no change in share pattern," the division bench said.
The division bench also rejected BCCI's argument that under the franchisee agreement King's XI Punjab can't seek injunction from any court and have to go for arbitration, saying, "this will not apply here".
The BCCI can now appeal against the Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court.
Franchise owners Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia and Mohit Burman, who were present, rejoiced over the verdict.
co-owner Ness Wadia said, "We have been on the right side since 2008. Where this would go we don't know. We are not going to comment on BCCI. We support BCCI and will continue to do so."
Meanwhile, co-owner and Bollywood actress Preity Zinta said: "The divisional bench has given a judgement in our favour. I would request the media to show both the sides of the story. Yes, our stand is vindicated. I feel happy. It's good that things worked in our favour."
On Tuesday, the Court had quashed the BCCI's termination notice against the Rajasthan Royals, giving the IPL 2008 champions a much-needed reprieve.
Even though the BCCI urged the court to revoke the stay granted to the Royals, the court decided to uphold the order that had been passed earlier by the arbitrator.
(With inputs from PTI)