The Bombay HC, on Tuesday, labelled the IPL as a source of ‘betting’ and ‘match-fixing’, in view of the alleged violations of foreign exchange rules during the tournament. In 2013, the court began adjudication proceedings against Lalit Modi under the FEMA with regard to a bank account opened in SA.
After being established in 2008, the IPL has undergone tremendous change ever since. From the sacking of Lalit Modi as the head of the governing body to the bans placed on CSK and RR franchise due to ‘spot-fixing’ and 'betting' claims, the IPL has been one hell of a roller coaster ride.
The bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre slammed the ethically problematic practices while passing an 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 ahead of the 2009 edition of the IPL which was 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, RBI and organisers to now consider if conducting IPL is in the interest of the game/sport," the Bombay HC said in its order.
Bombay HC also noted that the proceedings had dragged on for too long in the ongoing case.
“We direct the adjudicating authority to issue summons to the witnesses to appear before it on March 2. The cross-examination shall be concluded positively by March 13. The proceedings shall be completed by May 31,” the court said.