The Supreme Court on Thursday reminded the BCCI that it would not allow the free flow of money to state associations, which are resisting the reforms suggested by the Lodha Committee, as it is public money.
“If you want to flow money to associations, you have to ask them to accept the reforms. This is public money as you are discharging public functions,” Chief Justice TS Thakur observed during arguments over the Lodha Committee status report that was submitted to the Apex court last month.
“It first goes for public cause. Everyone should know where this money is going,” he said.
The court took note of the decision taken by the BCCI in its September 30 Special General Meeting (SGM) to disburse money to state associations from the compensation of R1607.58 crore it received from Star TV after the cancellation of the Champions League T20 last year.
Currently, the BCCI has R3576.17 crore in its bank accounts.
The court’s July 18 verdict also read: “The directions issued by this court proceeded on a clear finding recorded by this court that even when BCCI is not a state within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India, it is amenable to the jurisdiction of the High Court since it discharges public functions.”
The three-member special bench hearing the arguments also comprises Justice Ajay Manik Rao Khanwilkar and Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud.
BCCI lawyer Kapil Sibal argued that state associations have their own memorandum of associations and are not ready to listen.
“You are giving state associations crores of rupees and you are saying they are not listening to you on reforms? Nobody can say that ‘I will get my money but I will not reform’,” said Justice Thakur.
He further asked the BCCI to stop the disbursement and associations which have already received money should return it to the BCCI.
Senior counsel Arvind Datar, who was also representing the BCCI, pleaded not to stop the money as it would affect domestic cricket.
The bench refused to buy the argument. “If you have any issue, you can go to the Lodha Committee, and if your president has trouble going to the Committee, you can also come to us. We will sort it out but any resistance will not lead you anywhere,” warned Justice Thakur.
Earlier, senior advocate and amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium gave details of the BCCI and president Anurag Thakur’s defiant attitude.
He said Thakur’s email response to the Lodha Committee was blunt and sarcastic. Reading it out, he concluded, “The power of money is speaking clearly.”