Tribunal orders BCCI to pay Rs140 cr to Zee for breach of contract

A three-member arbitral tribunal has found the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) guilty of  "exploiting its dominant position" in respect of game of cricket in India and has also held BCCI guilty of unfair conduct against broadcasting company Zee.

The tribunal has held that Zee was treated unfairly in its commercial contracts, due to the launch of the Indian Cricket League and was illegally blacklisted.

The tribunal also asked the cricket body to pay Rs140 crore as damages for unlawfully terminating a five-year contract in 2007.

The tribunal passed an award of approximately Rs140 crore to be paid by BCCI to Zee by 1 December 2012, failing which the amount would carry interest at 11 per cent annual interest till payment.

"In our view, the claimant (Zee) is entitled to be awarded damages in view of illegal and unlawful termination of agreement by the respondent (BCCI) and also on account of illegal blacklisting," the tribunal comprising two former Chief Justices of India - A S Anand and Y K Sabharwal - and retired Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna opined.

BCCI had, on 12 March 2006, signed an agreement with Zee granting it exclusive media rights to telecast all ODIs to be held between India and any other country in any neutral territory outside India for a period of 5 years, ie, till 31 March 2011.