On a day when the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) is scheduled to meet and discuss the next course of action on the reforms proposed by him, Justice RM Lodha said it was “unfortunate” that even after almost one year since the verdict, the recommendations could not be implemented. “I am sad and it’s unfortunate. CoA was appointed about six months back. There was sufficient time to implement the order. It’s not a happy moment and it’s quite unpleasant,” Lodha said on Saturday. On January 30 this year, the Supreme Court had appointed a four-member committee headed by former comptroller and auditor general Vinod Rai to administer the day to day affairs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as an interim measure to oversee the implementation of the Lodha recommendations. The apex court, in the same month, had also removed president Anurag Thakur and BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke from their posts for obstructing the implementation of the reforms. The Supreme Court passed a July 18, 2016 judgment to implement the Lodha committee recommendations.
“It is unfortunate because on July 18, 2016 Supreme Court passed the order after hearing BCCI at length. Now after almost one year, when the president and secretary have been removed by the Supreme Court, we are nowhere near the implementation of the judgment of the Supreme Court,” Lodha said.
In the BCCI’s last Special General Meeting (SGM), the state associations failed to adopt the Lodha Committee recommendations despite it being on top of their agenda. It has reportedly left the CoA with no option but to ask the Supreme Court to enforce the reforms. A number of member units of the BCCI have filed affidavits in the Supreme Court against the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations. To this, the CoA had suggested the state bodies filter their objections to the recommendations to a few points and submit them to the court for reconsideration. This, the CoA had reiterated at its meeting with the state associations on the eve of the SGM, would be beneficial to all parties concerned. But instead, a seven-member committee, headed by Indian Premier League (IPL) Chairman Rajiv Shukla, was formed “to identify the few critical points in respect of the said judgment (July 18, 2016 Supreme Court order) for the General Body of the BCCI to consider before its submission to the Hon’ble Supreme Court”.
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Asked about the few principal recommendations including the ‘one state, one vote’, age and tenure cap for administrators’, cooling off periods between successive terms and the size of the senior national selection committee which the state bodies have objected to, Lodha said: “All these things have been argued before the Supreme Court multiple times. They have been rejected. Supreme Court has put seal of approval. There can’t be more superior forum that SC. All these points had been rejected before the SC when they had argued. What is the point of saying all these now?”
While speaking to a news channel, the 67-year-old former Chief Justice of India did not want to comment on one of the CoA members, Ramachandra Guha resigning recently, saying his explosive letter speaks for itself. “He must have found some internal functioning not satisfactory, I can’t comment on that. Guha has spelt out the reasons for resignation in his letter and that speaks for itself.” The next Supreme Court hearing on this matter is scheduled for July 14.