A division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale observed, “It has been two years and the state government has not bothered to recover dues. The amount is huge according to us. May be the amount is small for the state government. Despite not getting the arrears, the state government keeps providing security and other facilities religiously.”
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Santosh Pachlag last year, seeking direction to the state to recover the dues from the BCCI. “They (BCCI) are a commercial enterprise, which is earning so much and paying so much to each player. They are not able to pay this amount (Rs 10 crore)?” the court asked.
When informed that the next season of the IPL was supposed to start from April, Justice Khanwilkar said, “You (government) have enough time to recover the dues then. This issue needs to be examined at the highest level. What the government ought to have done by now, the court is directing.”
The court directed the home department secretary to decide the representation made by the BCCI urging the government to fix reasonable rates comparable to those charged by other states at the earliest. BCCI counsel Raju Subramanium informed the court that the cricketing body was not liable to pay the entire arrear, as it had never requested police security during the matches.
“The stadium, where matches were held, and the franchise owners who sought for security are not affiliated to the BCCI. Hence, they have to pay the dues,” Subramanium said. The bench then issued a notice to the stadium management and the concerned franchise owner whose match was held at the stadium in 2010. The next hearing has been scheduled for March 26.