New Delhi, December 15
The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved an order to appoint a panel of observers for the Board of Control for Cricket India. The top court will pass the order on January 2 or 3, after it opens after the winter break. The court has asked the BCCI to suggest names who can oversee the matter.
During Thursday’s proceedings, the top court slammed BCCI?president Anurag Thakur for lying under oath. “Your client has played the role of an obstructionist,” the bench observed. The court wanted Thakur to aplogise to “escape.”
Former Home secretary GK Pillai’s name has done the rounds as the Lodha panel wanted an observer to supersede BCCI officials, who have constantly refused to implement the Lodha reforms in full. BCCI has rejected Pillai’s name.
According to sources, Pillai could still be appointed by the Supreme Court. Petitioners Cricket Association of Bihar have proposed the name of former Indian all-rounder Mohinder Amarnath. Senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium, who has acted as the amicus curiae in this case, could also be in the panel.
The reforms, made binding on the BCCI by the Supreme Court in July 2016, include age and tenure caps, one-state-one vote policy and stopping ministers and government servants running cricket in India.
The court-appointed observer will also oversee the lucrative media rights contract for the Indian Premier League from 2018 onwards.
The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, had on Tuesday rejected BCCI’s petition to review the Lodha panel reforms. During Thursday’s hearing, BCCI president Anurag Thakur was at the receiving end. Thakur was charged for committing perjury. The issue of perjury arose because Thakur had filed an affidavit denying he sought a letter from the International Cricket Council stating that the Lodha committee’s recommendation to have a member of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office on the BCCI?apex council amounted to government interference in Board management.
Thakur had said that he had only asked ICC chairman Shashank Manohar what his stance on the matter had been when he was the BCCI president. “I pointed out to the Chairman of the ICC, Mr Shashank Manohar that when he was President of BCCI he had taken a view that the recommendations of the Justice Lodha committee appointing the nominee of the CAG on the Apex Council would amount to governmental interference and might invoke an action of suspension from ICC,” Thakur had said in his affidavit.
“I therefor requested him that he being the ICC Chairman can a letter be issued clarifying the position which he had taken as BCCI President.” Partial implementation of Lodha reforms
The BCCI has only partly implemented the Lodha reforms. It has been steadfast in its attempt to delay the one-state-one-vote proposal among other far-reaching recommendations.
The Supreme Court had accepted most of the Lodha panel recommendations on July 18 and it gave the BCCI four to six months to implement the directives.
In recent weeks, the Lodha panel drew the Supreme Court’s attention on the BCCI’s continued defiance. Reacting to the panel’s status report, the bench froze the BCCI’s accounts and released funds only for routine businesses.
The Supreme Court was clear that till such time the BCCI and its affiliated units fell in line with the Lodha reforms, it would not release the funds.
New Delhi, December 15