Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. DY Chandrachud, JJ directed Amitabh Chaudhary, who is presently the acting Secretary of the BCCI, to represent the BCCI in the ICC meeting which is scheduled to be held on 24.04.2017. The Court also asked Rahul Johri, the Chief Executive Officer, to accompany him and also attend the meeting of the Chief Executive Officers.

The Court will next take up the matter on 14.07.2017. [BCCI v. Cricket Association of Bihar, Civil Appeal No.4235/2014, order dated 17.04.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Considering the fact that there is a test match which is going to be played between India and Australia tomorrow i.e. 25th March, 2017, at Dharamsala Cricket Stadium, the Court directed that the B.C.C.I. shall honour the terms and conditions postulated in the contracts with the State Associations in letter and spirit so that there is no impediment in holding the test matches and ODIs

With regard to the IPL matches that are going to commence from 05.04.2017 on 10 venues in India, the Court said that there have to be tripartite contracts and some have been entered into while some shall be entered into in due course. After the contracts are executed, following the principle of parity, the B.C.C.I. shall also honour the contractual terms

Clearing the air over the disqualification as modified on 20.01.2017 where it was said that a person will be disqualified if he or she has been an Office Bearer of the BCCI or any State Cricket Association for a cumulative period of 18 years i.e. if he/she has served separate 9 years terms at BCCI and State Cricket Association, the Court said that what has been meant by the clarificatory order is that, if an office bearer has completed nine years in any post in the B.C.C.I., he shall stand disqualified to become an office bearer of the B.C.C.I. Similarly, if a person holds the post of office bearer in any capacity for any State Association for nine years, he shall stand disqualified for contesting or holding any post or office of the State Association. The bench of Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. D.Y. Chandachud said that if a person has held the post of office bearer in respect of a State Association for a period of nine years, he will not be disqualified to contest for the post of office bearer of the B.C.C.I. [BCCI v. Cricket Association of Bihar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 277, order dated 24.03.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-Judge Bench of Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ nominated the former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, historian Ramachandra Guha, former captain of the Indian women’s cricket team Diana Edulji and  IDFC Managing Director Vikram Limaye as the members of the Committee of Administrators to supervise BCCI. Stating the the CEO of BCCI will report to the Committee, the Court directed the C.E.O. of B.C.C.I. to submit a compliance report of the recommendations of Lodha Comittee within a week. Further, the Committee was directed to scrutinize the compliance and submit a status report before the Court within four weeks.

Earlier, on 24.01.2017, the Court had asked Arvind Datar, appearing for the BCCI, to submit 3 names who can represent BCCI at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the ICC in the first week of February, 2017. The Court directed BCCI Joint-Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary, BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and Vikram Limaye to attend the said meeting. Rejecting the contention of BCCI that the members of the newly appointed Committed should not be paid remuneration, the Court directed BCCI to propose a respectable pay structure for the members. The Court will hear the matter on 27.03.2017. [BCCI v. Cricket Association of Bihar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 72, order dated 30.01.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ also accepted the submission of Mukul Rohatgi, the Attornet General for India, that the Central Government be permitted to suggest certain names so that a Committee having a holistic approach can be constituted. The bench, however, made it clear that the names that will be suggested should be in consonance with the principal judgment and the subsequent orders passed thereafter.

Taking note of the fact that there is a meeting of the Executive Committee of the ICC in the first week of February, 2017 which needs to be attended by a nominee from the BCCI, the Court asked Arvind Datar, appearing for the BCCI, to submit 3 names in a sealed envelope by 27.01.2017.

Anil B. Dhawan and Gopal Subramaniam, the Amicus Curiae had already submitted certain names for the Committee of Administrators for the BCCI. The Court hence, directed Kapil Sibal, appearing or some State Associations, Mukul Rohatgi and Arvind Datar to submit the names, as directed by the Court, by 27.01.2017.

The matter is listed to be taken up on 30.01.2017. [BCCI v. Cricket Association of Bihar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 72, order dated 24.01.2017]

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Supreme Court: Modifying the earlier order, the Court said that a person will now be disqualified if he or she has been an Office Bearer of the BCCI or any State Cricket Association for a cumulative period of 18 years i.e. if he/she has served separate 9 years terms at BCCI and State Cricket Association.

Earlier on 02.01.2017, the Court had laid down various grounds for disqualification which included serving a cumulative period of 9 years as an Office Bearer of the BCCI. On 03.01.2017, the Court modified this disqualification and said that serving a cumulative period of 9 years as an Office Bearer of the BCCI or any State Cricket Association would lead to disqualification.

The names of the members of the Committee of Administrators are likely to be announced on 24.01.2017.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Directing that Anurag Thakur, President of BCCI and Ajay Shirke, Secretary, BCCI shall forthwith cease and desist from being associated with the working of BCCI, the 3-Judge Bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ and A.M. Khanwilkar and Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ accepted the norms laid down by the Lodha Committee regarding the disqualification of the office bearers of BCCI which said that a person shall be disqualified from being an Office Bearer if he or she :

  • Is not a citizen of India;
  • Has attained the age of 70 years;
  • Is declared to be insolvent, or of unsound mind;
  • Is a Minister or government servant;
  • Holds any office or post in a sports or athletic association or federation apart from cricket;
  • Has been an Office Bearer of the BCCI for a cumulative period of 9 years;
  • Has been charged by a Court of Law for having committed any criminal offence.

The Bench said that tough sufficient opportunities have been granted to BCCI to comply with the judgment and order of this Court, it has failed to do so. The President and Secretary and office bearers of BCCI have obstructed the implementation of the final directions of this Court on the basis of a specious plea that its State Associations are not willing to abide by the directions. 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. It was noticed that the conduct of the President of BCCI in seeking a letter from the President of ICC in August 2016, after the final judgment and Order dated 18.07.2016, is nothing but an attempt on the part of the head of BCCI to evade complying, with the Order of this Court. The Court, hence, issued a show-cause notice to Anurag Thakur to explain why he should not be proceeded against under the provisions of Section 195 read with Section 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

Stating that a Committee of administrators shall supervise the administration of BCCI through its Chief Executive Officer, the Court requested Mr Fali S Nariman, learned Senior Counsel and Mr Gopal Subramaniam, the learned Amicus Curiae to assist the Court in nominating the names of the administrators by suggesting names of persons with integrity and experience in managing a similar enterprise. Till then, the Court directed that the senior most Vice-President of BCCI shall perform the duties of the President, BCCI and the Joint Secretary shall perform the duties of Secretary. The matter was listed to be taken up on 19.01.2017 for nominating the names of the members of the committee of administrators. [BCCI v. Cricket Association of Bihar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 4, order dated 02.01.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

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]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In furtherance of the order dated 18.07.2016, where the Court, while accepting the report submitted by Justice Lodha Committee and the recommendations made therein, had requested the Committee to supervise the transition from the old to the new system in the wake of the reforms proposed by the Committee, the Court noticed that in the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee, the BCCI has been non-cooperative in its attitude.

BCCI has, despite directions issued by the Committee, released in favour of the State Cricket Associations substantial amounts running into crores of rupees without the permission of Justice Lodha Committee and in defiance of the direction issued by it. The Court said that the BCCI could and indeed ought to have avoided the disbursement of such a huge amount while Justice Lodha Committee was still examining the need for formulating a Disbursement Policy. Upon the argument advanced by Kapil Sibal, appearing for BCCI that the reason for the non-adoption of the Memorandum of Association (MOA) proposed by Justice Lodha Committee is the reluctance of the State Associations in subscribing to the same, the Court said that If that be the position, there is no reason why the State Associations that are opposed to the reforms suggested by Justice Lodha Committee and accepted by this Court should either expect or draw any benefit from the release of grants by the BCCI.

Listing the matter on 17.10.2016, the bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ and A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, JJ, directed that no further amount shall be disbursed by the BCCI or its Working Committee to any State Association except where the State Association concerned passes a proper resolution to the effect that it is agreeable to undertake and to support the reforms as proposed and accepted by this Court in letter and spirit.  The Court also 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. [Board of Control for Cricket v. Cricket Association of Bihar, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 1125, decided on 07.10.2016]

 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench comprising of T.S. Thakur CJI and FM Ibrahim Kalifulla J. accepts Justice RM Lodha panel’s recommendations almost in toto on structural reforms in the BCCI in order to streamline the working of the BCCI and possibly prevent any aberrations or controversies in which it has been embroiled in the past.

One of the most important recommendations that is accepted is the recommendation which disqualifies Ministers and Public Servants from holding offices in the State Associations or BCCI. The Court was of the opinion that the game of Cricket does not flourishes in this country because any minister or civil servant holds office in the State Associations or BCCI. Rejecting the contention that favours which the BCCI receives will disappear just because a Minister or Civil Servant is not an office bearer in the State Association or BCCI, the Court said that what is legitimately due to the game will not be denied to the game merely because Ministers or Civil Servants do not happen to be office bearers as there may be an overwhelming number of Ministers and Bureaucrats who are passionate abMinisters and Puout the game and would like to do everything that is legally permissible and reasonably possible within the four corners of the law even without holding any office in the BCCI or the State Associations.

Regarding bringing BCCI under the purview of RTI, the Court said that since BCCI discharges public functions and since those functions are in the nature of a monopoly in the hands of the BCCI with tacit State Government and Central Government approvals, the public at large has a right to know and demand information as to the activities and functions of the BCCI especially when it deals with funds collected in relation to those activities as a trustee of wherein the beneficiary happens to be the people of this country and hence, the Law Commission of India should examine the issue and make a suitable recommendation to the Government.

It was further said that the recommendation made by the Committee that betting should be legalized by law, involves the enactment of a Law which is a matter that may be examined by the Law Commission and the Government for such action as it may consider necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case. [Board Control for Cricket v. Cricket Association of Bihar, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 709, decided on 18.07.2016]