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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

EXCLUSIVE- CoA implementing Supreme Court-approved BCCI constitution, not interpreting it: Vinod Rai

With the new BCCI constitution entrusting the day-to-day functioning of the BCCI to its professional management, Rai said that it was obvious that the office-bearers also had to work accordingly.

cricket Updated: Aug 24, 2018 14:47 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File photo of BCCI Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai.
File photo of BCCI Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai.(Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court on August 9 approved the newly drafted constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and asked the board to register it with the Registrar of Societies of Tamil Nadu. The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) got the new constitution registered on Wednesday and on Thursday entrusted the day-to-day management of the BCCI to its professional management. While the move was seen as an attempt to exclude the office-bearers from any decision-making process, CoA chief Vinod Rai begs to differ.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Rai made it clear that the job of the CoA was to implement the orders passed by the Supreme Court in its judgement and not to interpret it. With the new constitution entrusting the day-to-day functioning of the BCCI to its professional management, Rai said that it was obvious that the office-bearers had to work accordingly.

“Firstly, I want to make this clear that no office-bearer has been removed from office. We are not taking away anybody’s powers. The directive sent out yesterday has been misinterpreted. The CoA’s job is to implement the orders passed by the Supreme Court and work as per the new constitution. We are doing just that and if anyone thinks that the CoA is trying to interpret the judgement of the SC, that holds no truth,” he clarified.

As per the new directive, the power to operate the bank accounts of the BCCI and IPL were handed to CEO Rahul Johri, General Manager, Cricket Openeration Saba Karim, CFO Santosh Rangnekar, Hemang Amin, Anil Joshi and Vijay Tiwari. While this means that the office-bearers would no longer be able to hold signing powers, Rai feels that much ado is being made out of nothing.

“Yes, the office-bearers will not sign cheques. But in which corporate set-up have you seen the directors signing cheques? It is not the job of the board to do that. The CEO is expected to handle that. The reform suggested by the Lodha Panel and modified by the Supreme Court speaks of a corporate set-up and that is exactly what we are looking at. Let me reiterate, we are only implementing and not interpreting,” he said.

While the position of office-bearers as per the new directive has been misinterpreted, the fact that the CoA has disbanded the sub-committees has raised serious doubts over the future functioning of the board. Senior board members felt that dissolving the committees was a step in the wrong direction considering the micro-management that the numerous committees did in ensuring the smooth day-to-day functioning of the board.

Rai though pointed out that the Lodha Panel talks of only 8 or 9 sub-committees and the Apex Council can decide on that when it comes into effect as the CoA doesn’t wish to get into that. Also, Rai feels that the major decision-making in the last 18 months has been done by the General Manager (Cricket Operations) and other professionals.

“The new constitution has come into effect and every step has to be taken keeping that in mind. When it comes to dissolving the sub-committees, there are around 19 such committees at present and the new constitution speaks of around 8 or 9 sub-committees as per the Lodha Panel’s proposals. In such a scenario, the current ones have no locus standi and we feel it is best for the Apex Council to decide on the new sub-committees as we don’t wish to get into that.

“If you look at the way things have worked in the last year-and-a-half, all the decisions have been taken by the GM (Cricket Operations) and other professionals. So, they can continue to do the same under the supervision of the CoA,” he said.

Further clarifying the position of the office-bearers, Rai said that they would have to continue to function as per the directives in the new constitution. “The new constitution is in place and they will have to function according to that. Till the Apex Council is elected under the new constitution, all such duties will be performed under the supervision of the CoA,” he signed off.

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 14:35 IST

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