Boost for defiant BCCI officials as Supreme Court agrees to review key clauses

The Supreme Court has snubbed RM Lodha’s proposal on rotational voting powers for multiple affiliates from a state. The top court will also relax the cooling off period for officials
The Supreme Court could review the ‘one state, one vote’ and ‘cooling off’ clauses and the order is expected after two weeks.(Hindustan Times)
The Supreme Court could review the ‘one state, one vote’ and ‘cooling off’ clauses and the order is expected after two weeks.(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jul 05, 2018 11:37 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByN. Ananthanarayan

In a shot in the arm for Indian cricket Board officials resisting key clauses in the RM Lodha Committee report on BCCI reforms, the Supreme Court said on Thursday that it could review the ‘one state, one vote’ and ‘cooling off’ clauses.

The Apex court, at its hearing after the Committee of Administrators filed its ninth status report on Wednesday, reserved its order on finalising BCCI’s draft constitution. The order is expected after two weeks.

The court’s observation that it would consider modifying the compulsory cooling off period for office-bearers completing their initial tenure and that it could be waived if he or she contests for a different post will boost officials engaged in a prolonged tussle with CoA in the cash-rich body.

The three judge bench of CJI Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said modifications to its judgement of July 18, 2016 that included the ‘one state, one vote’ and cooling-off period clauses could be considered.

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Asked to comment on the Supreme Court agreeing to modify the key ‘one state, one vote’ and ‘cooling-off period’ clauses, Justice Lodha said it would render the whole exercise ineffective.

“I have been very clear that these suggestions, which have the seal of the court, are the heart and lungs of the reforms. If they are in any way modified, the very efficacy of the reforms would be lost.”

Cloud over DDCA elections

The Supreme Court restrained all state cricket bodies from holding elections till it pronounced a verdict on finalisation of the draft constitution of the BCCI. The elections of the Delhi and District Cricket Association were held under a court officer earlier this week.

The ‘one state, one vote’ recommendation in the SC-appointed Lodha panel report has been opposed vehemently by office-bearers as it would make three of the four units in Maharashtra – Mumbai, Cricket Club of India, Vidarbha and Maharashtra – ineligible to vote. It would also bar two of three units in Gujarat – Baroda, Saurashtra and Gujarat – from voting in the BCCI annual general meeting.

The BCCI office-bearers had held that the units that would be deprived of voting rights have been part of the Board for decades and that the cooling-off clause would affect continuity in administration.

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BCCI officials also opposed the Lodha recommendation that bars ministers and those over 70 years from holding office.

The CoA headed by Vinod Rai had in its latest status report appealed to the Apex court to ratify the new BCCI constitution and had listed issues with acting officials of the Board, particularly secretary, Amitabh Choudhary. Thursday’s almost two-hour hearing will embolden the officials unhappy with the Lodha report and functioning of the administrators.

Institutional units like the Railways, Services and the Universities will also retain voting powers. There is however no clarity on NCC and Cricket Club of India.

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