New Delhi: In a major setback to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the cricket board’s petition seeking review of the apex court verdict validating the Lodha panel recommendations.
The BCCI had sought a review of the July 18 judgment in which the top court had accepted major recommendations of Justice R.M. Lodha-led panel on structural reforms in the cricket body.
The apex court had yesterday 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.
“BCCI President Anurag Thakur’s letter to ICC Chief Shashank Manohar amounts to interference. How can he be entrusted with responsibility to implement Lodha panel’s recommendations? The Supreme Court gave optimum time to the BCCI for compliance. Administrators must be appointed. Lodha panel can nominate experts. This kind of disobedience (by BCCI) is contemptuous,” he said.
The Supreme Court after going through the records of the BCCI meeting said, “It appears that at every stage, there was defiance and obstructions.”
In his affidavit, Thakur clarified that he had not asked ICC CEO Shashank Manohar to say that he did not seek a letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC), but added that he sought a clarification from its chief Shashank Manohar on whether the Justice Lodha Committee’s reforms amounted to interfering with the running of the BCCI.
The apex court had on October 7 postponed its hearing on the spat between the BCCI and Lodha Committee, while holding that the recommendations of the panel matter.
The top court had earlier barred the BCCI from releasing any funds to its state affiliates until they give an unconditional undertaking that they will comply with the organisational reforms as recommended by the Justice RM Lodha Committee.
Pronouncing the order, the Supreme Court had then said that the state associations would not get funds unless a resolution is passed to implement justice Lodha committee reforms.
During its October 6 hearing, the three-member judge had dismissed BCCI’s response to the status report filed by the Lodha committee following the board’s failure to meet an important deadline with respect to the implementation of a Memorandum of Associations (MoA), as necessitated by the timelines framed by the Lodha committee.
Justice T.S Thakur had criticised the BCCI for transferring Rs. 400 crore overnight to its state associations which was against the Lodha panel’s recommendations.
In its report submitted to the Supreme Court, the apex court-appointed panel had stated that the BCCI was not implementing its recommendations aimed at reforming the country’s cricket governing body.
The move came after the BCCI appointed a five-member selection committee during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 21, which was in violation to the Lodha panel’s guidelines.
In its October 1 Special General Meeting, the BCCI had accepted many of the “significant recommendations” of the Lodha Committee, however, it excluded the important ones which have been bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.
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 the five-selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.
Defending its action, the BCCI had said, “a meeting comprising all members took place, and several recommendations of the Lodha Committee were rejected by voting”.
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