The court earlier this month removed then BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke for stalling reforms.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday appointed a four-member panel headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Vinod Rai to administer the day-to-day affairs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Other members of the new panel are historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, MD and CEO of IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Company), and former Indian women’s cricket team captain Diana Edulji. The court earlier this month removed then BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke for stalling reforms.
The cricket board’s president and secretary had been sacked for not implementing administrative reforms suggested by a Supreme Court-appointed panel headed by former Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, which included age and tenure restrictions for top officials as well as banning them from serving successive terms. The new team will oversee the BCCI till it falls in line with Lodha panel recommendations.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud passed the order taking note of the names submitted by amicus curiae Gopal Subramanian and Anil Divan, and senior counsel Kapil Sibal on behalf of the state cricket associations. The court said BCCI CEO Rahul Johri would henceforth report to the new committee of administrators.
The bench also appointed Mr Limaye, BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Choudhury and its treasurer Anirudh Chowdhury to represent the cricket board in the ICC meeting to be held in the first week of February.
Amicus curiae Gopal Subramanian and counsel Gopal Sankaranarayan for the Lodha panel complained that the BCCI did not implement any recommendation. This was strongly refuted by senior counsel Arvind P. Datar for the BCCI as he asserted that most of them had been complied with. In view of the divergent statements, the court said the committee’s first job was to ascertain Lodha panel orders implemented and not complied with, and file a status report in four weeks.
Rejecting the arguments by the BCCI and several state associations that the July 2016 judgment was difficult to be implemented, Justice Misra said, “the order has to be complied with. We have to take it forward.”
Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Railway Sports Promotion Board, Services Sports Control Board and All India Universities, sought the recall of the July 18, 2016 order. He submitted that these three members of the BCCI, who had full membership earlier, now stand relegated and down-graded to associate member status without voting rights as per the Lodha committee’s “one state-one vote” recommendation. He wanted the Union sports secretary should be included in the committee of administrators.
Mr. Sibal, appearing for three state associations, joined the AG and said the order of “one association one vote” should be recalled as it affected three associations each in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The counsel argued that since state associations had been set up under the Societies Registration Act, Companies Act or under the Trust Act, the members cannot be removed without amending these provisions. Further he pointed out that the July 18 order did not apply to state associations as it pertained only to the BCCI.
The court in its order said these issues were being deferred for now and would be considered on the next date of hearing on March 27.