Justice Katju slams Lodha Reforms
New Delhi : The Supreme Court verdict on BCCI reforms have come under a sharp attack from former apex court judge Markandey Katju, who termed the reforms as “unconstitutional and illegal.” Katju, who has been appointed by the BCCI to advice on SC verdict on implementation of Justice Lodha committee recommendations, also advised the Board to file a review petition before a larger bench of the apex court and not to meet the Committee as scheduled on August 9 terming the panel as “null and void”.
“What the Supreme Court has done is unconstitutional and illegal. There has been violation of principles of the Constitution. Under our Constitution, we have legislature, executive and judiciary. There is broad separation of functions. It’s the legislature’s prerogative to make laws. If judiciary starts making laws, one is setting a dangerous precedent,” Katju said at a media conference.
“I have advised them (BCCI) to file a review petition before a larger bench. In this case, the Supreme Court outsourced a committee (referring to Lodha Committee) to decide on BCCI’s punishment,” he said.
BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke however said that the BCCI will study the interim report prepared by Justice Katju and then take a call.
“The Supreme Court had appointed the Lodha Committee to find the defects in working of BCCI. That was okay. When the Lodha Committee Report was submitted to the Supreme Court, it should have been forwarded to Parliament and State Legislatures. It then should have been left to legislature to accept or not to accept the recommendations. Judiciary is not supposed to legislate,” Katju said, elaborating his viewpoint.
He gave examples of cases where a larger bench with four or five judges have handled serious issues.
Justice Katju’s take is that since BCCI’s constitution has been prepared as per Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, both SC and Lodha Committee can’t forcibly change the BCCI by-laws.
“Both Supreme Court and Lodha Committee violated “Tamil Nadu Societies Registrar Act”. They have their own Memorandum and by laws. If you want to change the constitution, a special resolution needs to be passed by 2/3rd of majority. The society alone can amend the bylaws. There can be complaints on financial irregularities or administrative lapses, one has to write to Registrar of Societies.”
Justice Katju however did agree that “reforms are needed in the BCCI” but he also had a counter argument.
“If we speak about reforms in BCCI, then reforms are needed in judiciary also. There are more than 3 crore cases pending in Indian courts. And if this dangerous trend starts, tomorrow, the Supreme Court might dictate editorial policies of press, tenure of journalists. It will then open a Pandora’s Box.”