Lodha panel wants observer: End of the road for Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke?
The Justice RM Lodha Committee has asked the Supreme Court to disqualify all Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office-bearers who ‘fall foul’ of the panel’s report.
In a fresh status report filed to the Apex Court, the panel asked the court to appoint former union home secretary, GK Pillai as observer with power to appoint an auditor, guide the BCCI administration, particularly on the award of contracts and on transparency.
Reports said Pillai has agreed to take up that responsibility.
“Direct and declare that all office-bearers of the BCCI and the state associations who are disqualified by virtue of the norms at Para 4 (above 70, minister or government servant, holding a post in any other sports body, has been a BCCI office-bearer for a cumulative period of nine years or has been charged by a court for criminal offence) above cease to hold office forthwith,” the Lodha panel’s status report said.
Pillai should supervise the BCCI administration run by the CEO. The status report said its role should be confined only to provide “overall policy and direction, and not the actual administration of the BCCI.”
BCCI OPPOSES PILLAI
A senior BCCI official slammed the move.
“It seems the Lodha committee is working with a closed mind. In our affidavit to the committee, we said the president and secretary are willing to meet the committee. But it hasn’t met them.
“The court had also asked them to appoint an auditor and give a threshold (for financial deals) to the BCCI, But it didn’t take any action on that.
“The committee itself had suggested that no government official should be in the BCCI . So, on what basis have they selected GK Pillai and what process have they adopted.”
The Supreme Court had on July 18 accepted the Lodha panel report and gave it the job of implementing the recommendations. BCCI refused to implement the directives, saying that the state associations are against implementing some of the key recommendations.
The most contentious recommendations are one man, one post, one state, one vote and limiting the age of office-bearers to 70.
The status report could lead to the current set of office-bearers, headed by president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke, sidelined by the Apex Court.
The BCCI has faced action due to its steadfast opposition of the Lodha panel recommendations. The court had on July 18 accepted the report, giving the panel the responsibility to implement the recommendations. BCCI has refused to take on board the directives in full, saying its state associations are opposed to some of the key recommendations such as ‘one man, one post’, ‘one state, one vote’ and the age limit.
The court had in an interim order on October 21 directed the BCCI and state units to submit affidavits pledging full implementation of the Lodha panel report to be allowed to use its funds. So far, only three regional units have complied with the order.
There had been some doubts over the smooth conduct of the England series due to the fund freeze. However, the court had, following a petition by the BCCI, directed release of funds to the organisers of each match. But the cash-rich body had to postpone the process of selling long-term media rights for the Indian Premier League.