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Sourav Ganguly's Plea To Execute Award : Bombay High Court Imposes Costs On Percept Group For Not Providing Accurate Information

Sharmeen Hakim
24 Sep 2021 3:45 AM GMT
Sourav Gangulys Plea To Execute Award : Bombay High Court Imposes Costs On Percept Group For Not Providing Accurate Information
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The Bombay High Court has said that officials of Percept Group are prima facie attempting to mislead the court in a petition filed by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly seeking Rs 36 crore payable to him according to a 2018-19 arbitral award. The court has asked the respondents, Percept Talent Management and Percept D Mark (India) Limited, to bear the day's legal expenses for not...

The Bombay High Court has said that officials of Percept Group are prima facie attempting to mislead the court in a petition filed by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly seeking Rs 36 crore payable to him according to a 2018-19 arbitral award.

The court has asked the respondents, Percept Talent Management and Percept D Mark (India) Limited, to bear the day's legal expenses for not "disclosing accurate information" to the court.

Justice AK Memon prima facie found that Percept and an official of Tiger Sports Marketing Pvt, in which Percept had significant shareholding, were not forthcoming with Percept's original share certificates, creating an obstacle for the High Court in executing the award.

"Applicants have been forced to come to court repeatedly on the basis of incorrect and misappropriate instructions and therefore make improper submissions in court," Justice Menon observed.

The court has now directed Tiger Sports to deposit Percept's share certificates of over 1,86,000 shares by October 12. The court has further directed HDFC bank not to allow Percept Ltd to withdraw Rs 54, 51, 568 from its bank account, payable to Percept D Mark (India) Limited.

Background

The proceedings arose from an agreement called the "Player Representation Agreement" signed between the two in October 2003, with a term of 5 years. As per this agreement, Percept Talent Management was to act as Ganguly's sole and exclusive manager and agent in respect of certain defined and commercial rights. However, disputes and differences between the parties led to Percept terminating the agreement by notice to him in November 2007, following which Ganguly invoked the Arbitration clause and won.

Ganguly, through Senior Counsel Birendra Saraf, alleged that Directors of Percept have systematically "siphoned" funds from the company to other companies in which they are Directors to avoid payment to creditors. It is, therefore, necessary and in the interest of justice that the "Corporate Veil" is lifted off the debtors.

Proceedings in Court

Justice AK Menon asked Percept to disclose all its assets initially. The court also issued garnishee notices to certain companies that owed money to Percept. This is done so that the amounts payable could be deposited in court and eventually be paid to the petitioner.

Two companies in which Pecept had major shareholding were also asked to produce original share certificates after Percept said their copies were destroyed in a fire.

Advocate Shardul Singh for Percept, on instructions, said that one of these companies, Tiger Sports Marketing Pvt. Ltd couldn't produce the share certificates, further claiming that Harindra Pal Singh, was no longer the director of Tiger Sports. Harindra Pal Singh is also the chairman of Percept Ltd.

On Wednesday, Ganguly's counsels pointed out that Singh was still the director of Tiger Sports, according to documents uploaded on the Ministry of Corporate affairs.

Moreover, that they have received email communications that Tiger Sports would be willing to part with the share certificates. Advocate Shardul then submitted that he would make the share certificates available in the next three weeks.

"The list of directors produced today reveals an attempt, prima facie, to mislead the Court," the court observed while asking Percept to bear legal expenses.

The case will now be heard on October 13.

Case Title: Sourav Chandidas Ganguly v. Percept Talent Management Ltd & Anr.

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