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Aug 20, 2010

Modi has to appear in court in broadcast right issue: MSM

Mumbai: Indian Premier League broadcast right-holder MSM Satellite, Singapore said its dispute with WSG Mauritius can be sorted out only in an Indian court which will have to summon suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi as a witness.

MSM, which has entered into a fresh agreement with BCCI for media rights license for IPL, has alleged that WSG accepted facilitation fee for transfer of rights when it did not possess any rights.

MSM had paid Rs 125 crore to WSG for the IPL broadcast rights in the subcontinent, but later the Cricket Board said that WSG did not possess these rights.

Last week, Justice Roshan Dalvi of Bombay High Court accepted WSG`s plea that the dispute should be taken to international arbitration forum at Singapore -- as per the original agreement between MSM and WSG.
But MSM, which has filed a suit here claiming back the money paid to WSG, does not want arbitration and has now filed appeal before a division bench.

"This can be sorted out only in a civil court. We will need to examine BCCI officials and Lalit Modi in the case. An arbitrator has no powers to summon witnesses," said senior counsel Dushyant Dave.

"This is a case of fruad ... WSG sold us something which it did not have," Dave said, adding that in such a situation arbitration was not the remedy.

However, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing WSG, said as per Supreme Court rulings, "an accuser" can not avoid arbitration.

"By alleging fraud, they cannot bypass the agreement (which provides for arbitration)," he argued.

The Court is expected to give its ruling next week.

BCCI, while suspending Modi, had accused him of keeping it in the dark about the "facilitation" agreement between MSM and WSG.


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