BCCI barred from making any disbursements of funds to State Associations; independent auditor to be appointed to scrutinize the income and expenditure

Supreme Court: The 3-Judge Bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ and A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ directed that BCCI shall forthwith cease and desist from making any disbursement of funds for any purpose whatsoever to any state association until and unless the state association concerned adopts a resolution undertaking to implement the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee as accepted by this Court in its judgment dated 18.07.2016.

The Court further directed that a copy of the resolution shall be filed before the Committee and before this Court, together with an affidavit of the President of the state association undertaking to abide by the reforms contained in the report of the Committee, as modified by this Court. Any transfer of funds shall take place to the state associations which have accepted these terms only after compliance as above is effected.  The Court also asked the President and Secretary of BCCI to file a statement on affidavit within 2 weeks, indicating compliance made by BCCI of those of the recommendations of the Committee which have been complied with, the manner of compliance and the steps adopted for securing compliance with the remaining recommendations. Also, in respect of some of the recommendations, where state associations have not agreed to implement the recommendations of the Committee, BCCI will make a genuine endeavor to persuade the state associations to effectuate compliance. Listing the matter on 05.12.2016, the Court said that an affidavit of compliance of the aforementioned directions is to be filed before the Court by 03.12.2016.

The other directions given by the Court were:

  • Appointment of an independent auditor by the Committee to scrutinise and audit the income received and expenditure incurred by BCCI and to oversee the tendering process that will hereinafter be undertaken by BCCI, as well as the award of contracts above a threshold value to be fixed by the Committee;
  • The award of contracts by BCCI above the threshold fixed by the Committee shall be subject to the prior approval of the Committee;
  • The Committee shall be at liberty to obtain the advice of the auditors on the fairness of the tendering process which has been adopted by BCCI and in regard to all relevant facts and circumstances;
  • The Committee will determine whether a proposed contract above the threshold value should or should not be approved; and
  • The Committee will be at liberty to formulate the terms of engagement and reference to the auditors having regard to the above directions. BCCI shall defray the costs, charges and expenses of the auditors.

The Court had earlier, on 07.10.2016, asked Anurag Thakur, President of the BCCI to file a personal affidavit whether he had asked the CEO of the ICC to state that the appointment of Justice Lodha Committee was tantamount to Government interference in the working of the BCCI. In the affidavit which has since been filed by the President of BCCI in pursuance of the Court’s directions of 07.10.2016 it has been accepted that he had made a request to the Chairman of ICC for issuing a letter clarifying the position which he had taken as BCCI President. The Court said that it is a matter of serious concern that the President of BCCI, even after the declaration of the final judgment and order of this Court dated 18.07.2016, requested the Chairperson of ICC for a letter “clarifying” (as he states) the position which he had taken as BCCI President to the effect that the induction of a CAG nominee would amount to governmental interference and may result in BCCI being suspended from ICC. There was no occasion for the President of BCCI to do so once the recommendation of the Committee for the induction of a CAG nominee was accepted in the final judgment of this Court. [BCCI v. Cricket Association of Bihar, , 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1162 , decided 21.10.2016]

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