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Rediff.com  » Cricket » SC defers hearing on BCCI's review plea against Lodha reforms

SC defers hearing on BCCI's review plea against Lodha reforms

Last updated on: October 18, 2016 19:03 IST

'The judgment is unconstitutional and contrary to many binding precedents of this Court and adversely affects and nullifies the fundamental rights granted to citizens under Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution.'

Anurag ThakurThe Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred its hearing by two weeks on a petition filed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India seeking a review of its July 18 verdict directing it to implement the recommendations of Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha panel on massive structural reforms in the BCCI.

The BCCI, in its review petition, has also sought recusal of Chief Justice T S Thakur from hearing the matter, alleging he has "a prejudiced approach" against it.

The hearing on the review petition, in which the BCCI has also demanded an open court hearing, was listed in the chamber by a bench comprising the CJI and Justice S A Bobde which posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.

There are several others, including veteran cricket administrators Niranjan Shah and Chandu Borde, who have also sought re-examination of the July 18 verdict.

The Cricket Association of Bihar, through its secretary Aditya Kumar Verma on whose petition the apex court had decided to pass a slew of directions for massive restructuring of BCCI administration, has been opposing the BCCI.

In its review plea, the BCCI has also contended that the judgement was "unreasoned" and "seeks to frame legislative measures for a private autonomous society in a field already occupied by legislations, both parliamentary and state".

BCCI has further said the judgment authored by the CJI and Justice F M I Kalifulla (since retired) has "neither noted the contentions and facts correctly, nor dealt with the same".

"The judgment is unconstitutional and contrary to many binding precedents of this Court and adversely affects and nullifies the fundamental rights granted to citizens under Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution," it has said, adding "the judgment outsources judicial power to a committee of retired judges, which is impermissible in law."

"The judgment is a nullity as the judges were functus officio after passing of the main judgment of January 22, 2015 and the matter could not have been revived suo motu as no provision of law empowers the same and is contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers and contrary to settled law that the judiciary cannot make laws," the BCCI has said.

On July 18, the court had accepted major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms in BCCI, including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above 70 from becoming its members, but left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under RTI or whether betting on the game should be legalised.

The apex court had also accepted the recommendations of the Committee headed by retired Chief Justice of India Justice Lodha to have a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) nominee in BCCI.

The bench had, however, rejected BCCI's objection against the recommendations for 'one-state, one-vote' and said that states like Maharashtra and Gujarat having more than one cricket associations will have voting rights on rotational basis.

The bench also accepted the recommendation that one person should hold one post in cricket administration to avoid conflict of interest and scrapping of all otheradministrative committees in BCCI after the CAG nominee comes in.

The apex court-appointed Lodha Committee had on January 4 recommended sweeping reforms and an administrative shake-up in the troubled BCCI.

Report of Lodha Committee on Reforms in Cricket - Final Report, Volume 1

Report of Lodha Committee on Reforms in Cricket - Final Report, Volume 2

Image: BCCI president Anurag Thakur

Photograph: BCCI