New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said it would consider on July 5 the suggestions given by amicus curiae on the draft constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said the suggestions given by senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who is assisting it as an amicus curiae, should be circulated among all the parties so that they could give their suggestions.
Subramanium referred to three key issues — insulating the cricket body from political influence, ‘one-state, one-vote’ policy and full-time membership of some associate bodies — raised in the Justice R M Lodha panel recommendations. He said he has given his suggestions on several issues and all parties could give their views in the matter.
Senior advocate Puneet Bali, appearing for BCCI office bearers, told the bench that they along with other state bodies needed to respond to the suggestions given by amicus in the matter. The amicus has given his suggestions on issues, including grant of membership to certain cricket bodies like Vidarbha Cricket Association, the number of selectors and cooling off period for office bearers of the cricket bodies.
The apex court had on May 1 said that the vexatious recommendation of Justice R M Lodha panel on ‘one-state, one-vote’ policy may be reconsidered by it and it may look at the only aspect relating to the loss of full-time membership of some cricket bodies. One of the recommendations of the Lodha panel, which was later approved by the apex court in its 2016 verdict, was that there would be one cricket association, having full- time membership and voting rights in the BCCI, in one state.
This had led to the loss of permanent membership and voting rights to historic bodies like Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), Cricket Club of India (CCI), Vidarbha Cricket Association, Baroda Cricket Association and Saurashtra Cricket Association, located in Maharashtra and Gujarat which currently have permanent membership of the BCCI. The bench had said that so far as the ‘one-state, one-vote’ policy with regard to north-eastern states was concerned, it would not be re-considered.
The top court had asked the state cricket associations and BCCI office-bearers to give suggestions on the draft constitution for the apex cricket body to the amicus, saying these have to be in tune with the Lodha panel recommendations and its verdict. The draft would be finalised by the court and be binding on the BCCI. However, the bench had clarified that its order on the petitions seeking recall of the 2016 verdict would deal with the validity of the draft constitution.
The Justice Lodha panel had recommended a slew of structural reforms in BCCI which were approved by the apex court. The court had approved these recommendations such as ‘one state, one vote’; ‘one member, one post’ and fixing an age-cap of 70 years on those occupying BCCI posts. The Lodha panel was formed in January 2015 in the wake of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee report that called for reforms within the BCCI. The Mudgal panel had gone into state of affairs of the BCCI, following the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing charges. The court had in its July 18, 2016 verdict accepted most of the recommendations of Lodha committee to reform the BCCI following charges of large-scale maladministration in the cash-rich cricket body.