BCCI vs Supreme Court: A timeline
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New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as we know it, will not exist anymore. The Supreme Court on Monday brought down the curtain on its face-off with the BCCI by removing its president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke from their posts for not implementing the Lodha Committee reforms. While asking Thakur and Shirke to step down from their positions, the apex court asked them why they should not be tried for perjury and contempt.
Here is a timeline of how the conflict between the world’s richest and most influential cricket board and the Supreme Court has panned out since the spot-fixing scandal that broke out during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2013.
May: Three Rajasthan Royals players—S. Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila—arrested on spot-fixing charges revealing a deep nexus between franchise members, players and bookies. A follow-up probe led to the arrest of Gurunath Meiyappan, team principal of Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
October: Supreme Court appoints a committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal to look into the spot-fixing scandal.
November: The Mudgal Committee found that IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman, Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra guilty of betting. The Committee’s report pointed fingers at BCCI chief N. Srinivasan as well.
January: The apex court appoints a panel headed by retired justice R.M. Lodha to suggest reforms for BCCI as well as determine punishments for those guilty in the IPL spot-fixing case.
July: Justice Lodha panel suspends CSK and Rajasthan Royals for two years and hands a lifetime ban to their owners. The players of the two franchises, however, were allowed to be auctioned for other franchises.
January: Lodha panel recommends complete overhaul of the BCCI structure. Major recommendations include one-vote-one-state criteria, limiting tenure of office bearers, separate players’ associations for men and women, and barring ministers over 70 from holding any position in the board or state associations. The panel also gave BCCI time till 31 January to come back with suggestions. No response from the board forces the panel to approach the Supreme Court.
February: The apex court gives BCCI the deadline of 3 March to respond to Lodha panel suggestions.
March: BCCI files its response and objections to the report in a 55-page counter-affidavit.
April: The Supreme Court questions BCCI’s method of disbursing funds to state associations.
May: SC calls BCCI’s constitution non-transparent.
September: In a plea to the Supreme Court, the panel asks for replacing BCCI top bosses. Later, a bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur slams the board’s attitude, saying, “You behave like lords. Fall in line or else we will make you.”
Also read: Why BCCI is controversy’s favourite child
• In a special general meeting, BCCI deliberates on Lodha panel recommendations but makes no mention of key reforms such as age and tenure and one-state-one-vote policy in its statement.
• Later in the month, Lodha panel asks the banks to stop disbursing money from BCCI accounts to state associations, which puts India-New Zealand test match in Indore in risk.
• The panel changes its stance and clarifies that banks will release funds for daily operations.
• The Supreme Court decides to pass an order on the issue of implementation of directions of the Lodha panel after BCCI declines to give an unconditional undertaking.
• The apex court bars BCCI from releasing any funds to its state affiliates until BCCI gives unconditional undertaking to comply with reforms suggested by the Lodha panel.
• The Supreme Court directs Thakur to file an affidavit and clarify whether he had asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to write that Lodha panel recommendations amounted to government interference.
• In another special meeting, BCCI remains defiant on implementing key reforms.
• Justice Lodha panel recommends removal of BCCI top brass, including in its state associations, due to continued defiance of the board.
• The panel urges the Supreme Court to appoint former home secretary G.K. Pillai as an observer to guide the board with powers to appoint an auditor.
The Supreme Court says Thakur should go to jail over his attempt to obstruct justice. He had asked the ICC to furnish the BCCI with a letter that indicated the apex court order as government interference.