Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Thursday gave the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) one day to accept the sweeping changes suggested by a court-appointed panel to clean up administration of India’s most popular sport.
The apex court warned that it would pass an order freezing BCCI’s funds and seek back money it had disbursed to state associations if the board did not heed the order.
“Give an undertaking saying that you will abide by the recommendations, or we will pass an order,” said Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, who was presiding over the bench hearing the matter.
However, at the time of going to press, the court’s website had not listed the matter for hearing on Friday.
A committee led by former chief justice R.M. Lodha has recommended a shake-up of the country’s most powerful, and richest, sports body.
In July, the court gave the BCCI six months to implement the changes, some of which the board has resisted.
Key recommendations included a “one state, one vote” formula that would restrict states with multiple cricket associations such as Gujarat and Maharashtra to only one vote in the BCCI. The committee recommended a ban on civil servants and ministers from serving on the BCCI and state associations and set an age limit of 70 for office-bearers.
BCCI, represented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, on Thursday expressed its inability to provide an undertaking that it would accept the terms set by the Lodha committee at such short notice. The court reserved its order for Friday.
A member of the BCCI said the board was not likely to sign an unconditional undertaking to accept the recommendations. “We are doomed either way, whether we sign the undertaking or not. In our last special general meeting, the members unanimously voted to note that some 4-5 points of the Lodha recommendations are not acceptable,” the member said on the condition of anonymity.
Vidhi Chaudhary contributed to this story.