Monday was an important day at the Supreme Court after the long winter break. Eight verdicts were listed under different benches but the most awaited one was Item 1-I in Chief Justice TS Thakur’s court No 1. It had to be the BCCI vs Lodha panel case.
The packed court was expecting a dramatic ruling, and by a written order, BCCI president chief Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke, who refused to obey the apex court’s earlier directive and wasted opportunities to put forth a valid argument, “ceased to operate”. It was a quick knockout blow for the strongest men in Indian cricket.
Calm and composed, the Bench of Justice TS Thakur, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Dr Justice DY Chandrachud took about seven minutes to decide the fate of the BCCI and it administrators.
Justice Chandrachud, seated to the left of Chief Justice Thakur, read the order to shut the door on Thakur, Shirke and other board administrators.
The order also sought the help of senior advocate Fali S Nariman, 87, and amicus curiae Gopal Subramanian to suggest new administrators for the BCCI in next two weeks.
“Help us identify the administrators. We seek your assistance,” Justice Thakur addressed Nariman, who was present in the court room.
“We know you recused yourself earlier on other matters, but we have difficulties this time, please assist us,” Justice Thakur requested Nariman.
“I am ready to assist this time, I am always here to help the court,” Nariman responded politely.
Interestingly, the top legal eagles of the BCCI were not there in the court room.
Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi and wicketkeeper Surinder Khanna were present in the public gallery.
Later, they joined the celebrations with petitioner Aditya Verma in a garden where tents were being pitched for Justice Thakur’s retirement function on Tuesday. Former India cricketer Kirti Azad called from Singapore to congratulate Bedi.
The apex court also decided to send a perjury notice to Thakur.
Following the order, Thakur left without speaking to reporters but rolled down the window of his car to oblige camera persons.