The Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) on Monday targetted BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary in the Supreme Court for allegedly disregarding the apex court direction by inviting disqualified cricket administrators to attend the board's meetings.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said it will first go by the Committee of Administrators (COA) fourth status report and then will look into the contempt petition filed by CAB.
Senior advocate Ajit Sinha, appearing for CAB, said that this case is more glaring than the nominee issue as the acting secretary of BCCI, Amitabh Chaudhary, has invited the disqualified office bearers to the meeting.
"This has been done in utter disregard of the apex court verdict. This is a clear case of contempt. The disqualified office bearers cannot be invited to the meeting at the very first place. How can they be called into the special general body meetings," he asked.
"We will first like to go through the fourth status report filed by COA and then will look into the contempt petition," the bench also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.
The apex court had on July 14 said that it will look into CAB's petition, filed through its secretary Aditya Verma, seeking initiation of contempt action against BCCI's acting secretary and others for allegedly violating its order, when it considers the fourth report of the CoA.
In the fourth status report submitted by the court- appointed COA, former cricket administrators N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah have been described as "disqualified office bearers with vested interest", who were trying to stall the implementation of Justice R M Lodha panel reforms.
CAB alleged that Choudhary, Rajesh Verma, secretary of Jharkhand State Cricket Association, Asirbad Behera, secretary of Orissa Cricket Association, and Baldev Singh Bhatia, president of Chhattisgarh State Cricket Association, had committed "gross contempt" of the court's orders.
"The respondents have knowingly and intentionally breached the orders of this court by chairing and attending the Special General Meeting of the BCCI held on April 18 held at Hotel ITC Maurya, New Delhi," the plea alleged.
It claimed that Choudhary had not only invited the disqualified members from all state associations to attend the special general meeting of BCCI, but also chaired and allowed the disqualified members to attend it in his presence.
"It is important to mention that it was the duty of Amitabh Choudhary, who is the acting secretary of the BCCI, to ensure that no disqualified member of the state cricket association was allowed to attend and participate in the said special general meeting," it alleged.
On January 3, the apex court had clarified that a person shall be disqualified from being an office-bearer of the BCCI if he or she has been in the cash-rich cricket board or any of the state association for a cumulative period of nine years.
It had on March 24 clarified that an office-bearer in a state cricket body for a period of nine years cannot be disqualified from holding a post in apex cricket body BCCI and vice-versa.