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Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and AM Khanwilkar and Dr DY Chandrachud, JJ., accepted the draft BCCI constitution by metamorphosing ‘one state one vote’ which was propounded by Justice RM Lodha committee.

The Supreme Court bench while making certain changes to the draft also added another one to its list that was upholding the principle of the ‘cooling-off’ period by giving a clarification on this point that it would be imposed after two consecutive terms in the BCCI or a state cricket association or both.

Further, the Court has stated that the BCCI membership of Railways, Services and Association of Universities which was cancelled on Lodha committee’s recommendation shall be restored again. Also, Saurashtra, Mumbai Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association, Railways, Services and Association of Universities will be given full memberships.

[Source: The Tribune]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and AM Khanwilkar and Dr DY Chandrachud, JJ directed the BCCI office bearers, namely, C.K. Khanna, Anirudh Chaudhry and Amitabh Choudhary to give suggestions in furtherance of the Court’s order wherein it accepted the Justice Lodha Committee report. The Court said that if the office bearers fail to give their suggestions within 3 weeks, “they shall face serious consequences”.

The Court said that the draft constitution shall include the suggestions given by Justice Lodha Committee in its entirety so that a holistic document comes before the Court. Hence, it was noticed that after the document is placed before the Court, it will consider the claims of Railways, Universities and Services and the other cricket Associations, who are of the view that concept of ‘one State one vote’ should not be applicable keeping in view their contribution to the game of cricket.

It was further directed that for the purpose of drafting out the constitution after taking note of the suggestions, to make it final for the purpose of approval by this Court, the Office Bearers of B.C.C.I. shall not hold a General Body Meeting.

Earlier, on 02.01.2017, the bench headed by then Chief Justice, Justice TS Thakur had accepted the Justice Lodha Committee Report 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. The Lodha Committee had, regarding the disqualification of the office bearers of BCCI, had recommended 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.

Last year, on 18.07.2016, the Court said:

“the game of Cricket does not flourishes in this country because any minister or civil servant holds office in the State Associations or BCCI.”

The Court will now hear the matter on 30.10.2017 when all the above-mentioned office bearers have been asked to be present before the Court. [Board of Control for Cricket v. Cricket Association of Bihar, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1155 , order dated 21.09.2017]

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]