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BCCI’s Katju panel likely to invite Supreme Court ire

The BCCI appointing retired Supreme Court judge, Markandey Katju to head a panel to deal with the RM Lodha committee faces censure from the Supreme Court.

cricket Updated: Aug 03, 2016 18:19 IST
Jasvinder Sidhu
The BCCI president Anurag Thakur (left) and secretary Ajay Shirke (right) have been asked by the Justice RM Lodha committee to appear before it on August 9.(AFP)


The Indian cricket board’s appointment of a legal panel to deal with the Justice RM Lodha committee over its recommendations for reforming the influential sports body may run afoul of the Supreme Court.

In what appears to be a last-ditch attempt to protect its turf, the BCCI appointed a four-member panel headed by former Supreme Court judge, Markandey Katju, on Tuesday. But prima facie, appointment of a legal panel by the BCCI to interact with the Lodha panel violates the Supreme Court’s July 18 verdict.

Para 92 of the court order says, “Needless to say that the BCCI and all concerned shall cooperate and act in aid of the committee and its directives.”


It further reads, “Should any impediments arise, the committee shall be free to seek appropriate directions from this court by filing a status report in that regard.”

With all legal arguments completed and the Supreme Court having given its stamp of approval to the Lodha panel recommendations for reforms and transparency in the BCCI, the board’s decision has raised many questions.

The Lodha panel has said it will not entertain this new legal panel.

“It’s for the Lodha committee to decide whom it has to meet. We have specifically asked for BCCI president (Anurag) Thakur and secretary (Ajay) Shirke to appear on August 9. So, both should appear, not anybody else,” Gopal Sankaranarayanan, secretary to the Lodha panel, told HT on Wednesday.


At its working committee meeting, BCCI had formed the panel headed by Katju to interact with the Lodha panel and advise the BCCI.

The appointment could also be in violation of the constitution, which says a former Supreme Court judge cannot represent any party after retirement. The panel also includes three eminent counsels.

The Lodha committee sent an e-mail on July 21 asking Thakur and Shirke to appear on August 9, but it is awaiting a response.

The Supreme Court has tasked the Lodha panel to implement its recommendations and help in the BCCI transformation over six months.

Para 91 of the court ruling says, “The transition from the old to the new system recommended by the committee shall have to be under the watchful supervision of this court.

“The supervision of the transition can, in our opinion, be left to be undertaken by the committee not only because it has a complete understanding of and insight into the nature of the problems sought to be remedied, but also the ability to draw timelines for taking of steps necessary for the implementation of the proposed reforms.”