Supreme Court of India has set six months term for BCCI to implement Lodha Committee’s recommendations. It wanted to refurbish the BCCI by barring of the ministers and government officials from BCCI, setting the age limit of 70 years for office bearers and ‘one state-one vote’. But it allowed Maharashtra and Gujarat to have three associations on rotational basis.
The court asked the three-member Lodha committee led by Justice RM Lodha to “draw appropriate timelines for implementation of the recommendations and supervise implementation. Needless to say, BCCI and all concerned shall cooperate and act in aid of the committee and its directives.” Justice RM Lodha said, “Great day for Indian cricket and Indian sport, think cricket fans should rejoice the verdict of SC”.
After the match fixing scandal in Indian Premier League (IPL) which lead to suspend three times winner Chennai super Kings and inaugural winner Rajasthan Royals for two years, Supreme Court formed Lodha committee to set up a new cricket administration in India to clean out all the junks.
A bench of CJI Justice TS Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla had told the BCCI that Justice Lodha committee has given a “very viable rational solutions. You take a realistic view of the matter and act according to the recommendations”. This year on February 4 the court has suggested the BCCI to accept Lodha Committee’s decision. In response senior BCCI functionary and IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said, “We respect SC’s decision. We will look into how we can implement the Lodha panel recommendations.”
One state-one vote
This means states with more than one cricket association like Maharashtra (Mumbai, Maharashtra and Vidarbha) and Gujarat (Saurashtra, Gujarat and Baroda) will vote one at a time on a rotational basis.
Banned Ministers and Bureaucrats
The bench banned the bureaucrats and ministers as part of BCCI management. “Nothing which is not due to the game and is not legitimate need be done by any minister or civil servant. But we have no manner of doubt that what is legitimately due to the game will not be denied to the game merely because ministers or civil servants do not happen to be office-bearers. For aught we know that there may be overwhelming number of ministers and bureaucrats who are passionate about the game and would like to do everything that is legally permissible and reasonably possible within the four corners of law even without holding any office in BCCI or state associations.”
The bench also restricted the age limit. Anyone over 70 years age should not be a part of BCCI management. “A cricketer plays competitive cricket between 18 to 35 years of age. This implies that even after retirement, anyone who has potential to contribute to the game can do so for over three decades.”
These recommendations of Lodha Committee prevent political old hand Sharad Power (75 years) and an old administrative member N Srinivasan (71 years).
Lodha panel will supervise the administrative structure of BCCI within six months from old to new regime.
The Apex Court also accepted the Lodha Panel’s recommendation to have a member of CAG within BCCI governing body. CAG will keep a watch on BCCI’s financial deals, players’ payment, revenue model and will be a part of powerful apex council led by Lodha committee.
The court also gave consent to the recommendation that no person would be allowed after his nine years tenure in the apex council. That means for three terms the person could get elected to the apex court of BCCI but cannot enjoy his successive terms.
Banned Multiple Sports Membership
The court said multiple sports membership would be banned; any BCCI member would lose membership upon becoming a minister. Justice Thakur and Justice Kalifulla said, “Grounds for disqualification like unsoundness of mind, the member becoming a minister or holding membership in any sporting body also meet the requirement of reasonableness and do not call for interference from the court.“ It also added, “A three-year term recommended by the committee is, in our opinion, reasonable. Also, the prescription of cooling off period between two terms cannot be faulted.”
The court gave verdict that one person should hold one position in cricket administration to avoid conflict of interest. This decision could end the positions of BCCI President Anurag Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), Treasurer Anurag Chaudhary (Haryana), Secretary Ajay Shirke (Maharashtra) and Joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary (Jharkhand) in their respective state associations.
Lodha committee wants to reform the country’s richest and powerful cricket body BCCI. Now time will tell that these recommendations would be successful or not to clean up gibberish from Indian cricket.