Although the Lodha Committee may have notified the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to limit its 87th Annual General Meeting to business concerning the past year (2015-16), the world’s richest cricket board decided to go ahead with their full agenda which included matters related to 2016-17, including the appointment of selectors and secretary Ajay Shirke.
BCCI in its press release stated that “the proceedings are being conducted for the compliance of statutory provisions under which the BCCI is constituted and also for ensuring that the day to day operations of the BCCI are not hampered particularly in view of the ongoing major national and international tournaments, commitments and is subject to the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
A senior BCCI official defended the conduct of the AGM. “We have only made appointments for vacant slots. No new committees were formed. As per our current rules and structure, we had to make appointments wherever it was applicable. Once we adopt the new Memorandum of Association and constitution, we will follow that. We had taken an opinion from a senior counsel on this before going ahead with the AGM,” said an official.
A BCCI member said the Supreme Court’s order copy did not bar the BCCI from holding its AGM.
Shirke defended his appointment as secretary. “One can question anything, but you will agree that the BCCI has to function on a day-to-day basis. There is the 500th Test match starting tomorrow. Do we say that the BCCI will function without a secretary? The secretary is the principal (executive) officer whose election had come to an end and going forward — whether it is to take instructions from the court or take decisions arising out of court — the secretary is the empowered person. So this is merely carrying out our day-to-day affairs; and all our decisions are subject to any orders of the court. It might be that tomorrow the court says all this is bad or illegal… we will have to go by that,” said Shirke.
Sports activist and a lawyer Rahul Mehra, however, said Wednesday’s appointments might lead to contempt of court. “When the Lodha Committee has given a guideline and the BCCI has decided to overlook them, it will result in contempt of court. Although the Supreme Court’s order did not bar the BCCI from holding the AGM, in the spirit of the judgment, you should adhere to the guidelines from the Lodha Committee,” said Mehra.