'It is a requirement that non-discriminatory and transparent method, with the best international practices must be adopted for distribution of the valuable media rights so as to ensure the maximum revenue in the larger national interest.'
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would "think" over the submission of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for an early hearing of his plea seeking e-auctioning of the media rights of the Indian Premier League.
A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said, "We will think over it" when Swamy sought an urgent hearing of his fresh plea.
The BJP leader referred to the apex court verdicts to further reinforce his point that it has been held that auctioning is the best method of awarding contracts.
He also said that the amount involved in the award of IPL media rights is to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore and the issue should not be decided in an opaque manner.
"This petition prays that the distribution of IPL Rights which is scheduled on July 17, 2017 should be done in the most transparent mode available that is via E-Auction," the petition said.
It said that all the activities of Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) are undertaken with tacit concurrence of the state governments and the Centre "who are not only fully aware but supportive of the activities of the Board."
"It is a requirement that non-discriminatory and transparent method, with the best international practices must be adopted for distribution of the valuable media rights so as to ensure the maximum revenue in the larger national interest," Swamy's plea said.
He alleged that there is a consistent attempt of vested parties to try and build a monopoly by getting the above valuable rights in a non-transparent manner.
"Huge money is involved amounting to Rs 25000–30000 crore in the valuable rights associated with the game of cricket in India, which makes it mandatory to have the auction process robust, completely transparent in order to maximise the revenue and prevent vested interest from making undue gains," Swamy said.
Referring to Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha committee recommendations, the plea said that the panel made strong comments about the Board's tender process and the methods previously adopted by cricket administrators of BCCI in granting licenses in relation to media and television rights.
"No standard norms and objective criteria or procedures have been established for the distribution of the valuable rights associated with the game of cricket and selection or engagement of the rights holders.
"Lodha Committee has found that clear principles of transparency should be laid down, and BCCI's website and office should carry all rules, regulations and office orders of the BCCI in this regard, and there should be full
transparency of all tenders floated and bids invited by or on behalf of the BCCI," it said.