The Bombay High Court on Wednesday told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) not to award the broadcast rights for cricket matches from October 2004 to September 2008 till the petition filed by ESPN-Star Sports is heard and disposed of.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mr D.C. Bhandari and Mr Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Wednesday passed an order that the status quo be maintained and telecast rights are not granted to any party.
Lawyers representing ESPN-Star Sports and Zee Telefilms Ltd on Wednesday brought to the court's attention media reports that BCCI is likely to give the rights to a third party because of the ongoing court case. The judges asked BCCI to give a commitment that it will not award rights to anyone. However, BCCI's lawyers told the court that it would not be able to give a commitment immediately as the members of the Board have to be consulted.
When the court reassembled post lunch, lawyers representing BCCI said the match between India and Australia slated to commence on October 6 has to be telecast. BCCI will run into difficulty with the International Cricket Council (ICC) if the telecast does not take place, the lawyer told the judges.
"Is this the way ICC governs you?" Mr Justice Bhandari asked the lawyer representing BCCI.
The petition filed by ESPN-Star Sports is expected to come up on Thursday before Chief Justice Mr Bhandari and Mr Justice Chandrachud.