Supreme Court declines to interfere in IPL rights

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra closed the matter pertaining to e-auction but allowed Swamy to raise conflict of interest issue through an interlocutory application. PTI file

No stay on BCCI broadcast right auction this year: SC

The Supreme Court of India has shown a red flag to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's proposal of having an e-auction for the IPL media rights.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud allowed the BCCI to continue with its tendering process as senior counsel Parag Tripathi appearing for Committee of Administrators (CoA) defended the existing tendering process as being the best.

While refusing to stay the ongoing tendering process as sought by Swamy in favour of e-auction, the court did not close the matter as Swamy said that he wanted to file an application pointing to the conflict of interest in which certain BCCI officials were allegedly placed in.

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As many as 24 companies, including Star India and Sony Pictures Network, have so far purchased bid documents to get the broadcast rights which are expected to fetch an unprecedented amount of over Rs 20,000 crore for the richest cricket board. "The Supreme Court has also said wherever e-auction is possible, it should be resorted to", Swamy had told the Times of India.

The top court had earlier sought a response from former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, who heads the CoA, as to how the tendering process was better than the e-auction. It is a requirement that non-discriminatory and transparent method, with the best worldwide practices must be adopted for distribution of the valuable media rights so as to ensure the maximum revenue in the larger national interest, it said.

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