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In dramatic twist, how BCCI stumped Lodha Panel in Supreme Court

The Attorney General of India has asked the Supreme Court to withdraw the reforms suggested by the Lodha panel to BCCI. The Supreme Court has now deferred naming the panel of administrators for the Indian cricket Board

cricket Updated: Jan 20, 2017 23:21 IST
bcci,supreme court,lodha panel
Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke were removed as BCCI president and secretary by the Supreme Court. Almost all office bearers of the Indian cricket Board were disqualified after the Supreme Court implemented the reforms suggested by the RM Lodha committee(PTI)

In a fresh twist to the Board of Control for Cricket in India versus the Lodha panel on Friday, the Attorney General of India has urged the Supreme Court to recall the radical reforms suggested to bring greater transparency in the Indian cricket Board.

On a day the Supreme Court was to name a set of administrators for the BCCI, Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi brought a dramatic twist to the script when he argued that the implementation of the Lodha reforms needed a bigger debate and must be referred to a larger bench.

Rohatgi’s argument can be seen as a tacit backing from the Indian government since several affiliated units of the BCCI -- Railways, Services and the Universities -- were stripped of their voting rights. Rohatgi appeared for the Union Ministry of Railways, Armed Forces and the Association of Universities.

Rohatgi made the submissions before a new bench led by Justice Dipak Misra. When the Lodha reforms were made binding on the BCCI earlier this month, the bench was headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, who subsequently retired. The other two members of the bench -- justices AM Khanwilkar and DY CHandrachud -- remain.

The Supreme Court on Friday said it will name the administrators on January 24 (Tuesday). Nine names have been submitted in a sealed envelope.

Sacked BCCI president Anurag Thakur along with other members before a meeting to discuss their stance on the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel's report, in New Delhi. The BCCI had always refused to implement the Lodha reforms in full. (PTI)

On January 2, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgement, sacked Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke as the president and secretary, respectively, of the BCCI.

The Lodha panel had suggested age and tenure caps to be implemented across the BCCI and its state units. That made several top functionaries in India cricket virtually redundant.

“Can a panel of judges oversee the functioning of a private trust or a company? BCCI is a trust registered under a Tamil Nadu law. Similarly, state cricket associations are either trusts or companies,” Rohatgi argued before the bench.

In a significant reprieve to BCCI and state office-bearers, the top court clarified that members can serve separate nine-year terms at Board and state levels, but a three-year cooling off was mandatory after every three-year term. Effectively, one can serve Indian cricket for 18 years but over a 30-year period.

(With inputs from Bhadra Sinha)

First Published: Jan 20, 2017 16:35 IST