Lodha panel seeks removal of BCCI office-bearers
The justice R.M. Lodha panel has approached the Supreme Court seeking disqualification of the office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and naming of former home secretary G.K. Pillai as an observer to oversee the administrative reforms suggested by it.
“Several office-bearers at both the BCCI and the state associations continue to hold the posts although they stand disqualified as per the court’s earlier orders,” the Lodha panel said in an affidavit filed before the court on Monday.
The affidavit comes weeks after the apex court barred BCCI from disbursing funds to state bodies until they implement reforms suggested by the panel, and put in place a threshold for contracts that the board can enter into.
On 8 November, the apex court had asked the Lodha committee to vet sports-related contracts entered into by BCCI with other parties to determine the amounts to be released from time to time.
An independent auditor for maintenance of BCCI’s accounts was also directed to be appointed to enhance transparency in the release of funds on other occasions.
BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke declined to comment on the Lodha panel’s move. “Let the court decide the issue,” he said.
The panel, comprising three former Supreme Court judges, was constituted by the apex court to clean up BCCI in the wake of the 2013 Indian Premier League betting and spot-fixing scandal.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur had also been asked by the court to appear before the Lodha panel and submit a status report on how its recommendations are being implemented before 3 December. Thakur and Shirke have also been directed to indicate a road map on how the reforms proposed by the panel will be implemented.
While BCCI agreed to implement some of the panel’s suggestions, it has opposed and refused to implement the “one state, one vote” formula, the age cap for office-bearers, and the ban on civil servants being part of BCCI’s board.
The board had expressed inability to implement the court’s orders on the grounds that state organizations have refused to comply.
The case will be heard next on 5 December.
Vidhi Choudhary contributed to the story.