Sack BCCI top officials, make ex-home secretary GK Pillai observer: Lodha panel

New Delhi: Justice (Retd) R M Lodha-led committee has in its latest report submitted to the Supreme Court that the office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should be sacked and former Union Home Secretary G K Pillai be appointed as an observer to supervise the Board’s administration.

The panel recommended that Pillai as an observer should appoint auditors for awarding BCCI contracts like that for allocating media rights for future editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“While the day-to-day administration of the BCCI is presently carried out by the CEO and certain managers, who assist him in this regard, there would be a need to appoint an observer, who would guide the BCCI in its administration, particularly with reference to the award of contracts, transparency norms, audit, etc., for domestic, international and IPL cricket to be played hereafter. The committee recommends that G K Pillai, former Union Home Secretary, be appointed as the observer, with a power to appoint auditor and all necessary secretarial staff, assistance and remuneration as may be determined appropriate by the committee,” Lodha panel secretary Gopal Sankaranarayanan said.

“Several office-bearers at both the BCCI and the State Associations continue to hold the posts although they stand disqualified as per the order of this hon’ble court. It is

submitted that those individuals who fall foul of these norms be declared to cease to hold office forthwith,” he added. The Lodha committee further asked that all administrative and management matters must be carried out by the CEO of the BCCI without advertence to the office-bearers.

Earlier on October 17, the apex court had reserved its order after the BCCI sought more time to implement the reforms by the Justice Lodha committee.

However, amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam asked the apex court to appoint an administrator or ask the Lodha committee to do so.

The apex court had also directed the BCCI not to release funds until the state associations file an affidavit implementing recommendations of the Lodha panel. The apex court asked the Lodha panel to appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise the BCCI’s accounts and also to fix a limit on the financial transactions of the cricket board.

The Lodha panel would also fix a limit on the monetary value of contracts, which the BCCI can enter into, with a condition that all contracts above this limit would be approved by the panel.

The order is likely to affect the award of contract for IPL and other tournaments as the apex court empowers the Lodha panel to fix a ceiling.

The court is slated to hear the matter next on December 5. BCCI president Anurag Thakur has been asked to personally appear before the apex court during the next hearing. The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years, which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with five selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the Board.

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