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BCCI vs Lodha panel: SC reserves order after BCCI seeks time to implement reforms

Updated: Oct 17, 2016 16:34 IST      
BCCI vs Lodha panel: SC reserves order after BCCI seeks time to implement reforms

New Delhi [India], Oct. 17 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sought more time to implement the reforms by the Justice Lodha committee.

However, Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam asked the apex court to appoint an administrator or ask the Lodha Committee to do so.

"BCCI Prez Anurag Thakur's letter to ICC Chief Shashank Manohar amounts to interference. How can he be entrusted with responsibility to implement Lodha panel's recommendation. SC gave optimum time to BCCI for compliance. Administrators must be appointe. Lodha panel can nominate experts. This kind of disobedience (by BCCI) is contemptuous," he said.

The SC after going through the records of the BCCI meeting said, "it appears that at every stage there was defiance and obstructions."

BCCI counsel Kapil Sibal said the board has implemented several recommendations and that if they are given time, they will try to convince the State Cricket Associations to accept the recommendation, adding that they do need approval from three-fourth members.

BCCI said it is against the 'one state one vote' recommendation.

The apex court after going through the records of the BCCI meeting said, "it appears that at every stage there was defiance and obstructions"

Earlier, in the day BCCI President Anurag Thakur denied allegations of scuttling implementation of recommendations of Lodha panel.

In his affidavit, Thakur clarified that he had not asked ICC CEO Shashank Manohar to say that he did not seek a letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC), but added that he sought a clarification from its chief Shashank Manohar on whether the Justice Lodha Committee's reforms amounted to interfering with the running of the BCCI.

The apex court had on October 7 postponed its hearing on the spat between the BCCI and Lodha Committee till today, while holding that the recommendations of the panel matter.

The top court also barred the BCCI from releasing any funds to its state affiliates until they give an unconditional undertaking that they will comply with the organisational reforms as recommended by the Justice RM Lodha Committee.

Pronouncing the order, the Supreme Court had said that the state associations would not get funds unless a resolution is passed to implement justice Lodha committee reforms.

The top court also asked BCCI president Anurag Thakur to file a personal affidavit on details of his conversation with ICC Chief David Richardson regarding the Lodha panel recommendations

Thakur made contact with the governing body of the sport with regards to the inclusion of a Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) member in the newly-formed apex council of BCCI. According to ICC regulations, national boards must not have government interference in its administrative body. A transgression in this regard could lead to de-recognition of member boards.

During its October 6 hearing, the three-member judge had dismissed BCCI's response to the status report filed by the Lodha committee following the board's failure to meet an important deadline with respect to the implementation of a Memorandum of Associations (MoA), as necessitated by the timelines framed by the Lodha committee.

Justice T.S Thakur had criticised the BCCI for transferring Rs. 400 crore overnight to its state associations which was against the Lodha panel's recommendations.

The top court had also maintained that the BCCI should have exercised transparency in funding state associations saying, "You can't transfer Rs 400 crore overnight."

Meanwhile, the BCCI, in its response to the court, had refuted allegations of non-compliance with the Lodha-led panel's recommendations, saying that "records of 40 mails" exchanged with Justice Lodha would be submitted before the apex court.

"Records of 40 mails sent to Justice Lodha will be submitted to the court, not true that we didn't respond to Committee's mails," the BCCI had said.

Last week, the Lodha committee had submitted its status report with the Supreme Court, accusing the BCCI of defying the apex court's orders and stalling its proposed reforms. It also recommended the ouster of the entire top brass of the cash-rich cricket body.

In its report, the apex court-appointed panel had stated that the BCCI was not implementing its recommendations aimed at reforming the country's cricket governing body.

The move came after the BCCI appointed a five-member selection committee during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 21, which was in violation to the Lodha panel's guidelines.

Tearing into the BCCI for ignoring the directions of the Lodha panel, the apex court had given the cricket governing body time till October 6 to respond to the panel's report.

In its October 1 Special General Meeting, the BCCI had accepted many of the "significant recommendations" of the Lodha Committee, however, it excluded the important ones which have been bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.

The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.

Defending its action, the BCCI said, "a meeting comprising all members took place, and several recommendations of the Lodha Committee were rejected by voting". (ANI)

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