Supreme Court ends arguments on Lodha panel report, reserves order

  • Jasvinder Sidhu, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 30, 2016 23:15 IST
The recommendations submitted by the Lodha panel asking for administrative reforms in the BCCI  have been reserved by the Supreme Court till July 21. (PTI)

The Supreme Court reserved its judgement on Thursday on the Justice RM Lodha committee’s recommendations on implementing administrative reforms and bringing in transparency in the Indian cricket board.

The final arguments in the case were completed and the two-judge bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Ibrahim Kalifulla is expected to pronounce the order before July 21, when Justice Kalifulla retires.

During earlier hearings, the BCCI had raised objections against some of the recommendations of the panel, which was appointed on January 22 last year after the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel submitted its probe report into the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.

On Thursday, senior counsel KK Venugopal, appearing for BCCI, submitted that the board is seriously considering some of the Lodha panel recommendations and has already implemented those such as the appointment of a CEO and a chief financial officer.

However, Venugopal argued that the BCCI is not a corporate body but is registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Act and hence any interference will violate article 19-1C of the constitution, which refers to fundamental rights.

Swift action

Amicus curiae, Gopal Subramanium, interjected to inform the court that the situation was yet to improve as the president, secretary and treasurer of the Goa Cricket Association are in police custody for corruption.

Subramanium, however, appreciated the action taken by the BCCI against the trio --- it has suspended them --- but said it was only done after the arrests.

He also mentioned that drivers, cooks and family members of officials have been made members in the Saurashtra Cricket Association.

He said a similar problem has come to light in the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association. He said 14 members had the same address — D-11 Shakur Basti --- and that they include cooks, drivers and clerks of the DDCA members.

The Lodha panel in its 159-page report released on January 4 had recommended sweeping changes. Amongst other things, it wanted ministers and government officials to be barred from holding office in the BCCI. It also wanted betting to be legalised through a central legislation.

The Lodha panel had handed two-year suspensions to IPL teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. It also banned Chennai team official Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan co-owner Raj Kundra for life from cricket.

The panel has also suggested a thorough shake-up of the BCCI administration and addressing of issues related to corruption and conflict of interest.

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