The Board of Control for Cricket in India continues to put up a defiant front even as the Supreme Court plans to name a panel of administrators to run the routine affairs of the Board. (Lodha panel vs BCCI in Supreme Court )
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court weathered a solid ‘attack’ from BCCI and its ‘allies,’ that included Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi (representing institutional units Railways, Services and the Universities).
Justice Dipak Misra, who is heading a three-member bench after CJI TS Thakur retired in January first week, expressed the Supreme Court’s aggressive but patient mood.
It has allowed the BCCI state units and the Centre (read the institutional units) to suggest names for the administrators’ panel by Friday. The BCCI will also have to suggest names for its representation at the International Cricket Council.
A decision on the panel is expected in the next hearing listed on Monday (January 30).
The Attorney General, who on January 20 wanted the Supreme Court to recall the Lodha reforms and refer the matter to a larger bench, was reprimanded for his ‘loud’ style of argument.
“Once we pen an order, it is clear as day that it will be implemented,” the judges said, sweeping away any chance of recalling or reviewing the reforms suggested by the RM Lodha committee.
Rohatgi’s constant endeavour to pull down the reforms in the slog overs of the hearing did not amuse the judges on Tuesday.
“Where were you when we passed the order?” Justice Misra said.
On July 18, 2016, the bench headed by Justice Thakur had approved the Lodha reforms that included, among others, age and tenure caps, and more importantly, the one-state-one-vote concept.
The Lodha panel relegated institutions like Railways, Services and Universities to associate members and without voting rights. The Attorney General is opposing this, effectively suggesting where the government stands on the issue.
Rohatgi’s appeal to defer the naming of administrators by “two weeks” was ignored by the bench. So far, 24 names have been suggested by three parties – amicus curiae, lawyer Anil Divan and the petitioner, Cricket Association of Bihar.
The bench has made it clear that names in the sealed envelopes of anyone over 70 years will be disqualified. More importantly, review of the July 18 order ratifying the Lodha panel report has been hit for a six by the bench.