New Delhi: Putting the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) in a weak spot, the Supreme Court pulled up Anurag Thakur, president of apex cricket body, for his statement on asking the chief executive officer (CEO) of ICC (International Cricket Council) to state that the appointment of the Lodha committee was tantamount to government interference in the working of the BCCI.
Anurag Thakur, BCCI president, through an affidavit had denied asking the CEO of ICC to state that the appointment of the Lodha committee was tantamount to government interference in the working of the BCCI.
However, it was endorsed by Gopal Subramaniam, amicus curiae (friend of the court) that during a meeting held on 6-7th August, Thakur had asked for a clarification letter from ICC chairman, Shashank Manohar on a view taken by him while he was the BCCI president, according to which Lodha panel recommendations of appointing a nominee of the CAG on BCCI’s apex council would amount to governmental interference.
“The attempt of asking for a letter after the courts’ judgment directing compliance with Lodha reforms was passed is clear under the affidavit.” Subramaniam told the court.
On a clarification by the BCCI saying that Thakur did ask for the letter as stated in the affidavit but that was without any intention to surpass the Lodha reforms, the court noted that it could not be disregarded that nothing had transpired between the two persons on the issue.
An affidavit by Ratnakar Shetty, a long-standing cricket administrator, however, stated that no request for any such letter had been made.
With BCCI seeking more time to comply with all the Lodha reforms, the court reserved its order with regards to steps it would undertake to ensure compliance of the Lodha panel reforms by the BCCI in its entirety.
Last week, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India, T. S Thakur, had barred the cricketing body from disbursing funds to state cricket associations until they implement reforms suggested by a court-appointed panel.
Pulling up the BCCI yet again for defiance of courts order from time to time, the court asked it to give a statement on adopting Lodha reforms and submit a timeframe within which each of the recommendations would be enforced.
The BCCI told the court that it had begin implementation of some of the Lodha reforms but could not accept all of them since many of them were not in nexus with the game.
During a special general meeting (SGM) held on 15 October, the BCCI had held that all its members stood united against not being able to accept recommendations of the Lodha Committee recommendations as a whole.
In July, the court gave BCCI six months to implement the changes, some of which the Board has resisted.
Key recommendations of the Lodha panel include a “one state, one vote” formula that would restrict states with multiple cricket associations, such as Gujarat and Maharashtra, to one vote. The panel recommended a ban on civil servants and ministers serving on BCCI and state associations and an age limit of 70 for office-bearers.