Writ of Supreme Court must run, says Vinod Rai on Lodha panel reforms
Vinod Rai, chief of the Committee of Administrators, believes the time for negotiations with the BCCI are done and that the decisions of the Supreme Court and Lodha panels must be implemented soon.cricket Updated: Jul 18, 2017 18:38 IST
It has been a year and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has still not accepted the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee recommendations in toto.
Earlier, in a landmark judgment on July 18, 2016, the Supreme Court accepted major recommendations of Justice R.M. Lodha-led panel on structural reforms in the BCCI and had given six months deadline to the board implement the recommendations.
On October 1, the board had accepted many of the “significant recommendations” of the Lodha Committee, but excluded the important ones which have been a bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.
The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.
In an exclusive interview with ESPNcricinfo, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai insisted that as far as he is concerned, there is no more room for talks and he is looking forward to the apex court finally putting its foot down.
“Our mandate was to implement the recommendations of the Lodha Committee as approved by the Supreme Court on July 18, 2016.”
“How do we ensure that mandate is fulfilled? We can ensure that mandate is fulfilled only by making the BCCI’s special general body meeting (SGM) pass a resolution (to adopt the new constitution and reforms). Isn’t it? If that could have been done by January 30, then we would not have been required.”
“Since the verdict was thrust onto them, they did not agree so I tried to build consensus (among BCCI members). I told them you have said withdraw the order, but the Supreme Court would not withdraw it since it has passed the judgment. I asked the BCCI members to narrow down the parts of the order that were hurting them, but please adopt the new constitution. And then appeal to the court asking to look at the shortlist of recommendations again,” he added.
The CoA chief further said that he has asked the board not to defy the Supreme Court and if it has some genuine problem with the recommendations then it should bring them to the notice of the court.
“That is why I held the meeting (with the state associations) before the SGMs (on June 6 and June 25). I was impressing upon them the fact that if you adopt the constitution you get onto the right side of the court. Then you point out X & Y are practical difficulties and hence cannot be implemented,” Rai said.
“This attempt failed due to the intransigence of a couple of people with vested interests who could sway the others,” he added.
Rai, while stating that even after one year he was not frustrated, asserted that all he is saying is that the writ of the court must run.
The CoA chief further informed that he has asked the court to issue an order under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, and issue direction to the Registrar of the Tamil Nadu government to register the new BCCI constitution.
“Enforcement of the decrees and orders of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it and make it enforceable throughout the territory of India,” reads Article 142 of the Indian Constitution.
The BCCI on June 23 constituted a seven-member committee to see how the Lodha Panel recommendations are implemented by the board in the best possible and swiftest manner.
And on July 8, it expressed reservations on four points of the Lodha Panel recommendations namely one state one vote, team selection panel, cooling off and demarcation functions of professionals and official bearers.