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Why BCCI's top officials are in trouble yet again...

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 23, 2017 21:16 IST
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The Supreme Court expressed displeasure over its directions on the Lodha panel report not being implemented so far by BCCI.

Amitabh ChoudharyThe top three officer bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, including its acting president C K Khanna and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, were on Wednesday directed by the Supreme Court to appear before it to explain why its order on Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha panel recommendations have not yet been implemented.

Besides Khanna and Chaudhary, the apex court also issued show cause notice to BCCI treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry and asked them to appear personally before it on September 19.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra expressed its displeasure that the directions given by the apex court and its order on the recommendations of the Lodha panel have not been implemented yet.

"The whole problem is that nothing has been implemented. We will issue show cause notices and direct for personal presence," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The bench also said it would hear the plea filed by Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), through its secretary Aditya Kumar Verma, alleging that Choudhary had disregarded the court's direction by inviting disqualified
cricket administrators to attend the board's meetings.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, assisting the court as amicus curiae, told the bench that these three office-bearers were responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Lodha panel and the apex court's directions, but have not done that so far.

He alleged that BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, who was accompanied by the legal advisor of the Committee of Administrators (COA), was not allowed to attend BCCI's special general body meeting on July 26 in which the endevour was not to implement any of the recommendations and the directions passed by the top court.

Senior advocate Puneet Bali, representing these office bearers, countered the submissions of the amicus saying after the July 26 meeting, they had sent e-mails to everyone concerned that all the recommendations must be complied with.

To this, the bench observed, "you have expressed your helplessness. Beseechment is not the solution."

The apex court-appointed COA, through senior advocate Parag Tripathi, said that none of the recommendations of the Lodha panel and directions given by the court have been implemented.

"The only idea is not to implement anything. Justice (retd) Vikramajit Sen (who has been appointed administrator of the Delhi and District Cricket Assocition) had said (in the July 26 meeting) that everything contrary to what Lodha panel has said was being done in the meeting," he said.

Meanwhile, the bench directed the COA to prepare a draft constitution of the BCCI in terms of its earlier judgement and order on the Lodha panel recommendations.

"We think it appropriate that the COA shall prepare a draft constitution in terms of the main judgement as well as the July 24 order of this court," it said, while directing that copies of draft constitution be handed over to all the parties before it.

During the arguments, Subramanium referred to the fifth status report of the COA and said that as per it, the office bearers have not taken steps to implement the Lodha panel recommendations.

In its fifth report, the COA, headed by former CAG Vinod Rai, had sought the removal of BCCI office-bearers -- Khanna, Choudhary and Chaudhry.     Subramanium said the apex court should give directions so that the recommendations could be implemented.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was appearing for Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), said there are certain issues which required to be dealt with by the court.

The bench, however, said it would deal with these aspects after the COA filed the draft constitution before it.

When the counsel representing the BCCI office bearers raked up other issues, including that of the status of membership and selection, the bench said he could argue all this after the draft constitution is placed before the court.

The apex court said that on September 19, it would also consider the issue of two names which are to be chosen to fill up the vacancies that have arisen in the COA.

It said that any other aspect can also be raised by the member associations on the next date, but these must be of "acceptable sanctity" and issues should not be raked up only for the sake of raising them.

The apex court also said that suggestions, if any, on the draft constitution should be handed over to the amicus as well as to the counsel appearing for COA.

Justice Lodha panel had suggested a slew of structural reforms, including one state, one vote, in BCCI which were approved by the apex court.

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's acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary

Photograph: BCCI

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