The Supreme Court said on Monday that officials ineligible to hold office in the Indian cricket Board or its affiliates cannot be nominated to attend the International Cricket Council meeting scheduled from April 24.
“How can a man, who is not eligible to contest, be nominated to represent the BCCI? What you cannot do directly, you cannot do indirectly,” the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said, noting that it can’t violate its own earlier order.
The court observations came on a clarification sought by the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA), appointed by the court, after many members backed controversial former board and ICC president, N Srinivasan, to attend the crucial meeting of the world governing body.
Hearing on April 17
However, the court will still hear the matter on April 17, before giving a final decision. “The man who is disqualified stands disqualified...There is a cap of 70 years given by this court. It is difficult to comprehend that a man who is not eligible goes to the ICC to represent the BCCI. We do not want violation of our orders,” the bench said.
With the court fixing next Monday for the hearing, the BCCI SGM was postponed to April 18, where a decision is expected on who will go to the ICC meeting.
The CoA’s lawyer asked the court if Srinivasan or former secretary Niranjan Shah --- both are above 70 and ineligible to be a BCCI office-bearer as per the Justice RM Lodha report --- can participate in the SGM.
Office-bearers not same as nominees
BCCI lawyer Kapil Sibal argued that eligibility mattered only when it came to office-bearers and not while nominating people to meetings.
The Apex court had accepted the major recommendations of the Lodha committee on reforms in the BCCI, including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above 70 from becoming office-bearers. But it left it to the parliament to decide whether BCCI should come under RTI and on legalising betting.
The court also modified its March 24 order asking the CoA to consider the representation of the Puducherry Cricket Association (PCA), replacing ‘PCA’ with Cricket Association of Puducherry (CAP) as the plea was filed by the latter.