A day before Supreme Court's hearing on implementation of constitutional reforms, BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary on Thursday informed that 12 out of the 37 state units (including North Eastern States) have submitted a common four-point suggestion to amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium.
During the last SC hearing on May 1, the three-member bench headed by CJI Deepak Mishra had instructed all the affiliated units of BCCI to file their suggestions with regards to clauses which they are finding practically difficult to implement.
Accordingly, 12 affiliated units -- Andhra, Assam, Goa, Jharkhand, Kerala, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Railways, Tripura, Universities, Uttar Pradesh, Vidarbha -- have submitted their suggestions to the amicus curiae and they have reached a common ground.
"The four points that the affiliated units want to be reconsidered are -- one state one vote', cooling-off period (after every three years), constitution of apex council, distribution of power and functions between elected representatives and professionals," Choudhary told at hurriedly organised media conference.
Contrary to perceptions that he did not show enough will to implement the reforms, Choudhary said that he has been constantly working with the state associations to reach a common ground.
"I made an initiative to get in touch with state associations to work further. As many as 12 full members have come around to that view. Their agreement to the subject is in writing. They have also said in their letter of agreement that the matter may finally be brought to the notice of SC.
"On May 1, the court itself directed any further suggestions be handed over to amicus curiae. I made sure my suggestions reached the amicus curiae."
The acting secretary Choudhary's media briefing today was even more significant as the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in its seventh status report had sought his removal along with two of his colleagues -- acting president CK Khanna and treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry.
Interestingly, though, in an earlier status report (fourth), CoA had praised the former Jharkhand top cop for trying to bring the units around in incorporating the Lodha reforms in the new constitution.
Asked as to why the CoA termed him a hindrance, Choudhary said: "The hindrance that you are talking about is non-existent. Had there been a hindrance on my part, I wouldn't have been able to bring to you written commitment (of implementation of Lodha reforms) of 12 members. Majority in the board will go with this template."
Choudhary also made it clear that he has done his bit in trying to ensure that affiliated units implement all reforms which are practicable.
"This process of reforms has been on from January 2017. The court had asked the office bearers (president, secretary and treasurer) to place an undertaking, stating their complete commitment (in implementing Lodha Reforms) – within four weeks. All the three of us gave our undertaking in black and white," Choudhary said.
"After the general body meetings of BCCI, the SC also desired that the office-bearers put their suggestions on the draft constitution on record. We put our suggestions on record. I did so on October 12, 2017, and that is still awaiting adjudication."
Choudhary also explained some of the practical difficulties including that of a cooling off period of three years after every term as an office bearer.
"If you look at the suggestion of cooling off period after every term, then you will have new faces after every three years and there will be no continuity," he said.
One of the massive bone of contentions is the distribution of powers between professional appointees (CEO, CFO) and elected office bearers. With CEO Rahul Johri being entrusted with the power to take all policy decisions, the office bearers under CoA regime have been rendered ineffective.
"There are many aspects which require approvals on important issues which may impact the finances and the policies of the board, which is what the scheme suggests. There has to be some provisions about the decisions that will be taken by professional appointees."
About the formation of apex council, Choudhary said,"The apex council has provision for only one member representative from state units. India being such a huge country geographically, we have suggested that if at least one representative from each of the six zones (including North East) are included in it."
On suggestions of going back to national panel of five selectors from the present three, Choudhary said: "Yes, there is a suggestion considering the number of matches being played but if you see, we are doing fine with three," he concluded.