The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said that the IPL has made people familiar with phrases like “betting and fixing”
and in view of the alleged violations of foreign exchange rules it is necessary to see if the tournament was in interest of the game of cricket.
The observation was made by a division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre, while passing its order on a petition filed by former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi challenging a July 2015 order of the adjudicating authority of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), refusing him the permission to cross-examine witnesses in a FEMA case.
The ED has alleged violations of foreign exchange rules during the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) held in South Africa. The court allowed Modi’s petition and permitted his legal counsels to cross-examine the witnesses but made strong observations on the tournament.
“If IPL has led to serious violations then it is high time the organisers realise whether what has been achieved by conducting the tournament since the past ten years can be termed as a sport or game… for it is full of illegalities and breaches of law,” the court said.
“IPL has made us familiar with phrases like betting and fixing of matches. It is for the central government, Reserve Bank of India and organisers to now consider if conducting IPL is in interest of the game/sport,” the court said in its order.
The bench, while allowing Modi’s petition, said the impugned order grossly violates the principles of natural justice as the adjudicating authority was going to rely on the statements of the witnesses against Modi.