The Supreme Court has asked three banks to deposit Rs. 400 crore with the Bombay High Court’s Registry for securing the claim of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in its dispute with Nimbus Communications on the termination of a Rs. 1,600-crore contract for broadcasting rights, pending the hearing of the matter.
A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai asked Punjab National Bank, Indian Bank and Union Bank of India to deposit the sum in 15 days with the Registry, which would then remit it to the BCCI’s bank account.
The order came on a special leave petition the BCCI filed after the banks refused to pay Rs.1,600 crore under the conditional guarantees they had issued for the contract for the Media Rights Licence Agreement between the BCCI and Nimbus.
Appearing for the BCCI, senior advocate C.A. Sundaram said the matter pertained to a four-year agreement clinched in 2009 for the telecast of all domestic and international matches India played at home between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2014. In December 2011, the BCCI cancelled the broadcasting rights after Nimbus defaulted on payment.
The BCCI then sought to encash the guarantees, a move rejected by the banks.The BCCI filed suits against the three banks in the Bombay High Court, which allowed them to defend the suit on condition that they deposit Rs. 400 crore with the High Court, which would then redeposit the sum with the respective banks. Aggrieved, the BCCI moved the Supreme Court.
Keywords: BCCI-Nimbus row