A committee made by the Supreme Court and an autonomous cricketing body of India, have been in a continuous state of disagreement from way back in 2015. Since the time Supreme Court formed the Lodha Panel, it has been giving nightmares to BCCI. The panel, put down some recommendations for the BCCI to implement over a certain period of time. This move was made to make the working of the world’s richest cricketing body, more transparent. The Lodha Panel was basically formed when there was a huge match-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier league in the year 2013. The panel has been quite adamant with its directives, and hence the BCCI had to witness the two-year ban of IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) and now the looming doubt over the cancellation of the current India-New Zealand series.
As of now the biggest situations is that the BCCI on Tuesday reportedly decided to cancel the ongoing New Zealand series, saying that it was not able to work due to the intervention of the Lodha committee. BCCI claimed that there are no sufficient funds to carry on with the series, as the Lodha panel has asked banks to not provide funds to the board. Lodha Panel, however, has denied that the series will continue. As the war of words between the two bodies are getting worse every day and with Supreme Court intervening with a hearing today, here is all you need to know about the face-off:
When was the Lodha Panel formed?
The Lodha Panel was formed by the apex court in January 2015 under Chief Justice of India RM Lodha and retired Supreme Court judges Ashok Bhan and R Raveendran. It was formed following the Mudgal Report that reported about the irregularities in IPL and BCCI after the spot-fixing scandal. When the committee was formed, it imposed a life ban on Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra and suspended the owners of two franchises for two years. That was the beginning of the tussle between the committee and BCCI. Lodha Panel charted 82 questions and send them to BCCI and asked to mention how the body runs cricket in India.
What are the initial basic recommendations made by the Lodha Panel?
These are the things suggested by the board:
a) BCCI office bearer can work not more than two continuous terms
b) President of the BCCI cannot hold his post for more than two years
c) BCCI personnel cannot be a government minister
d) Proposition of one vote per state and no proxy voting
e) Separate governing body for BCCI and IPL
f) Legalisation of betting
What were the recommendations accepted by the BCCI?
After a special general meeting, the BCCI listed the following Lodha Panel recommendations:
1. The induction of the representative of the Comptroller and Auditor General as the member of the Apex Council and the IPL Governing Council
2. The formation of the Apex Council – to replace the working committee, according to the Lodha report – with certain modifications. The Lodha report had recommended that only the BCCI president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer be part of the Apex Council but it is understood that the board was in favour of all the members of the working committee remaining a part of the Apex Council.
3. Putting in place various committees as recommended by the Lodha Committee, including the special committee for the differently abled and the women’s committee.
4. The formation of the Players Association
5. Voting rights for the Associate members as per the ICC guidelines
6. Puducherry (Pondicherry) to be granted associate membership in the BCCI
7. A Code of Conduct for players and team officials, Anti-Doping Code, Anti-Racism Code, Anti-Corruption Code and Operational Rules for implementation for the next IPL season
8. Implement player-agent registration norms
What are the key recommendations that the BCCI did not accept?
1. The Lodha committee recommended to not let serving civil servants and government ministers to be on the board. The BCCI did not accept this during its SGM on October 1.
2. The committee directed that the maximum age for anybody to be on the board has to be below 70 years of age, which is applicable to state associations as well. This was a big controversy as it included the likes of Sharad Pawar, Mumbai Cricket Association president and also N Srinivasan, head of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. The board did not accept this recommendation by Lodha Panel as well.
How had the Supreme Court rapped up the BCCI after the Lodha Panel report?
Here is what the Supreme Court said:
1. “Fall in line or the court will make you do it.”
The bench which comprised of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said, “BCCI (people) are behaving like Lords. Fall in line otherwise we will make you fall in line,” the bench said, adding that, “BCCI is bringing the system to disrepute by not following the directions”.
2. “BCCI considers itself a law in itself.”
The bench said, “If the BCCI thinks that they are the law unto themselves, then they are wrong. They have to comply with the directions of the court.”
3. “The BCCI tactics are in poor taste.”
When senior advocate Arvind Datar who appeared for BCCI claimed to have complied and will comply with all directives, the bench said, “Law needs not to be defied. We are not happy about the things going on. We anticipated this approach from BCCI but this is not done. You will have to fall in line with the directions of the court.”
4. “Law cannot be defied. No difficulty in enforcing orders.”
Justice TS Thakur said: “BCCI, it seems, will go to the extent of defying court orders. We had been anticipating such disregard from the Board. We don’t appreciate such tactics by the BCCI. We have no difficulty in passing orders to make sure our previous orders are implemented.”
5. “Such disregard was anticipated.”
Justice TS Thakur said, “When the high-powered committee gives its report, we don’t expect this sort of conduct from BCCI.”