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SC reserves order following BCCI opposition to implement Lodha Panel reforms

BCCI President Anurag Thakur on Monday said in the Supreme Court that he had not asked ICC CEO Shashank Manohar to state that the appointment of Justice R M Lodha committee would “tantamount to government interference” in the functioning of BCCI.

cricket Updated: Oct 17, 2016 17:40 IST
Anurag Thakur,BCCI,BCCI Supreme Court
The apex court had held that the ICC would appreciate that the appointment would bring transparency in the finances of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.(PTI Photo)

The Indian cricket Board president, Anurag Thakur, has denied trying to prod the world governing body to dub the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee report as amounting to government interference.

In his affidavit before the court on Monday, Thakur said he had not asked the ICC chairman, India’s Shashank Manohar, who is his predecessor as the BCCI president, to write to it.

Comments in the media by ICC CEO, Dave Richardson, to that effect had raised a controversy, but Thakur denied doing it.

How the court views Thakur’s affidavit, which the bench said suggested Richardson was lying, remains to be seen. But the BCCI will be braced for a bigger jolt.

After the Board once again refused to give an undertaking that it would implement the Lodha panel’s directives for reforms — its counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that, one state one vote system cannot be implemented and founding members should be allowed to retain their votes.

Sibal presented the continued opposition to implementing the Lodha panel report in full, following which the court reserved its order.

There will be huge anticipation whether the Supreme Court does ask the BCCI top brass to step aside and appoint an interim committee. The suggestion was made by amicus curiae, Gopal Subramaniam.

Thakur’s affidavit

Thakur said that during an August ICC meeting, he had pointed out to Manohar that he, as then BCCI president, had viewed the recommendation to appoint a Comptroller and Auditor General’s nominee in the Apex Council as government interference that may lead to the suspension of the Board.

Thakur said he only requested him to write a letter clarifying the position he took while he was the BCCI chief.

“Manohar explained to me at the meeting that when the stand was taken by him, the matter was pending before this court and had not been decided.”

The court had subsequently rejected BCCI’s contention that appointing the CAG nominee would amount to governmental interference.

After the hearing, BCCI president Thakur told the media: “You need 3/4th majority to adopt these recommendations. We have done our duty to go back to the state associations and they have to take a call. If you don’t have 3/4ths majority, you cannot adopt these recommendations.”

The court had passed an order on October 7 which barred state associations from receiving funds from the BCCI, or spending its share received after the Champions League T20 was cancelled, until they gave affidavits that they would follow the Lodha panel report in full.

First Published: Oct 17, 2016 15:43 IST