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Supreme Court set to put messy BCCI house in order, enforce new rule book

The Supreme Court could order the BCCI to adopt a new Memorandum of Association as drafted by the Committee of Administrators on the basis of the reforms outlined by the Lodha committee

cricket Updated: Sep 20, 2017 19:05 IST
Soumitra Bose
The Supreme Court has summoned acting BCCI president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry as it will take a decision on a new Memorandum of Association.
The Supreme Court has summoned acting BCCI president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry as it will take a decision on a new Memorandum of Association. (AFP)

The Supreme Court on Thursday could finally enforce a new constitution on one of the richest sporting bodies of the world, the Board of Control for Cricket in India. If implemented in full, several top BCCI officials, who have called the shots for years, will fall by the wayside. The hearing has been listed at 3 PM.

Three top officials of the BCCI --- acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry --- have been summoned by the Supreme Court. The troika will have to explain why the Lodha Committee reforms, which were made binding on the cricket Board by the apex court in July last year, have not been implemented yet.

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“The current office-bearers of the BCCI have demonstrated scant regard for the directions issued by the Committee of Administrators and continue to flout the same with impunity,” the CoA noted in its fifth status report.

Amitabh Choudhary could face censure because he has reportedly worked as a Jharkhand State Cricket Association signatory despite giving an undertaking in the court that he would not wear two caps as long as he was the BCCI’s acting secretary. The Lodha Committee forbids double roles due to conflict of interest.

In his defence, Choudhary has submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court on September 15. Choudhary claims that he has been in favour of implementing the Lodha reforms but “a handful members of the BCCI and a few office-bearers” have been stalling them. The infighting among BCCI top officials is very clear in the reply.

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The BCCI has been opposing three main proposals on, 1. membership, 2. balance of power between elected office-bearers and professional appointees like the CEO and 3. tenure and cooling off period. The CoA has called this “nothing short of gross abuse/contempt”.\

The new constitution has space for one representative per state with voting rights. The MoA has identified 30 states. Rest of the BCCI affiliates like the Cricket Club of India, Railways, Universities and Services, will be categorised under “associate” membership with no voting rights.

The draft constitution has suggested an all-powerful apex council that includes a senior and current CAG functionary, considerable administrative control for the CEO and his team and not more than nine years as a state/BCCI official. Powerful committees like finance have been removed.

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The CoA has been scathing on the acting BCCI officials. “There is a need to direct that the existing office bearers of the BCCI shall forthwith cease and desist from being associated with the working of BCCI,” the CoA has recommended.

The Supreme Court has twice passed orders that saw the unceremonious exit of two BCCI presidents --- N Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur --- and one secretary, Ajay Shirke. The CoA has urged the Bench, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, to pass an order so that the reforms “see the light of the day and not remain a writ in sand.”