Justice RM Lodha, chairperson of the three-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court, said the task of cleaning up the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was a mammoth one, requiring in-depth hearing.
The panel has made some headway as it has completed its hearing regarding one of the court directions – to decide on the punishment for N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra.
Both Meiyappan, team principal of Chennai Super Kings, and Kundra, Rajasthan Royals co-owner, were found to be involved in betting during IPL 6.
The panel will soon hold proceedings vis-à-vis the two franchises. IPL rules mandate action against the franchise if its official is found to have indulged in an illegal activity. Notices have been issued to the two teams and their response is awaited.
On the bigger assignment of cleaning up the cricket board, Justice Lodha, the former Chief Justice of India, said it had to be done with patience. “This aspect needs a lot of hearing as all the stakeholders associated with the game would be involved. The process will begin once we are over with the franchises. It’s difficult to fix a time frame to give the report on ensuring transparency in the BCCI’s functioning,” he told HT.
The former CJI said the panel intended to hear out past administrators and office-bearers of the BCCI. The other panel members are former Supreme Court judges Ashok Bhan and RV Raveendran.
Justice Lodha said though the SC gave six months to submit the report, the panel is yet to decide whether it should give a consolidated one or in phases. “We are yet to take a call on this. It is possible that the panel might give its action taken report against the two individuals and franchises as and when it is ready,” he said.
On the court’s direction to conduct a further probe against former IPL chief operating officer (COO) Sundar Raman, Justice Lodha said, “Senior IPS officer BB Mishra was assigned this job. But since his official tenure is over, we would have to appoint someone else to take over his role.”
He said the BCCI judgment delivered by a bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla was an evolution in public law. “The government may not give financial assistance but the team selected by BCCI represents India in all international events. The body has to be accountable to the public that has reposed faith in it to choose its representatives in the game,” he said.