Coming down heavily on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the three board members — acting president C K Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary — to explain why they have not implemented any of the reforms suggested by the Lodha panel last year, adding ‘this shuttling and re-shuttling will not be allowed.’ It directed the trio to be personally present on September 19 to explain their position. It also asked the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), managing the affairs of the board, to draft a new constitution on the basis of its last year’s directions by August 30. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that the draft constitution would be based on its directions of July 18, 2016 and its order of July 24, 2017 by which it agreed to re-examine the one-state-one-vote principle, the strength of the selection committee and the status of associate members.
The court said a copy of the draft constitution would be given to all the counsel representing the BCCI, state associations, Railways and Association of Indian Universities and others. All of them have sought modification of the Justice Lodha Committee’s recommendations. All these entities will file their objections in writing, if any, to the draft constitution, it said. “The draft constitution will be circulated to BCCI and BCCI will give its suggestions,” the Supreme Court said, adding, ‘we are open on certain issues but BCCI hasn’t done anything.’ Amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium told the Bench that the three BCCI office-bearers were the persons responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Justice Lodha panel and the top court’s directions, but they have not done that so far. “The BCCI’s Special General Body meeting on July 26 did nothing to implement the Justice Lodha panel recommendations,” he said.
The Supreme Court will also consider on September 19 a report submitted by the CoA which has sought removal of the top three BCCI officials on the ground that their conduct was ‘unfit’ and that they weren’t in a position to ‘make good’ on their undertakings of implementing the cricket reforms. The CoA had recommended the ouster of Khanna, Chaudhary and Chaudhry and asked for the management, administration and governance of Indian cricket to be entrusted exclusively in its hands till the new set of office-bearers were appointed through fresh elections. Last June, the Supreme Court had barred ministers and bureaucrats from holding posts in the cricket body. It had also set an age limit of 70 years, and ruled that a person would not be allowed to be an office-bearer in a state cricket body and the BCCI at the same time.