Supreme Court to pass order on Friday on Lodha panel’s plea to issue directives against BCCI

BCCI vs Justice Lodha panel, Supreme Court hearing Live: Stay tuned for live updates from the hearing with the apex court.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: October 7, 2016 8:08 pm
BCCI, Board of Control for cricket in India, BCCI live, Justice lodha, Lodha, lodha panel, bcci vs lodha, lodha vs bcci, bcci lodha supreme court, bcci lodha supreme court live, bcci lodha sc live, supreme court, sc live, cricket, cricket news, sports, sports news BCCI vs Justice Lodha panel hearing in Supreme Court Live: Supreme Court hears arguments by BCCI on Lodha panel recommendations.

The Supreme Court Thursday agreed to examine the RM Lodha panel’s plea to supersede office bearers of the BCCI with a panel of administrators.

Writing that we have high regards for this court is fine but this respect had to be shown in your deeds, the top court told the BCCI.

WATCH VIDEO: Supreme Court Bars BCCI From Releasing Funds To State Associations: What It Means?

Earlier in July, the top court had asked the cricket body to implement the reforms suggested by the Lodha panel.

However, the cricket body had refused to accept some of the big recommendations made at its Special General Meeting such as appointing of three selectors with Test experience, specific tenures for BCCI officials, cooling off period for the administrators, one state-one vote policy as the biggest points of difference. Some of the minor recommendations were complied with but the bigger points in the clean-up process were not adhered to by the board members.

WATCH VIDEO: Supreme Court Reserves Order Till Friday On BCCI’s Non Compliance Of Lodha Report

In response to the status report submitted by the former Chief JusticeLodha-led panel, Supreme Court lambasted BCCI for not “falling in line” and warned them of dire consequences of face contempt of court charges. Catch live updates of BCCI vs Justice Lodha panel’s hearing at the Supreme Court.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20163:35 pm

Interestingly, BCCI’s Twitter handle posting reforms implemented by the board in the recent past just as the proceedings came to a close today.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20163:14 pm

Supreme Court has asked BCCI to provide an undertaking that it will implement the Lodha committee reforms or the Court will be forced to pass orders.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20163:08 pm

Latest updates from the capital:

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20163:05 pm

Supreme Court to pass order tomorrow (Friday) on Lodha panel’s plea to issue directions against BCCI for flouting court’s directives

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20162:50 pm

The court straight bat asks the BCCI a simple question, but a difficult question: “Will you implement the Lodha panel recommendations or not?”

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20162:10 pm

Tough decision to make for BCCI if it comes down to it:

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20162:09 pm

Responding to questions of BCCI transferring 400 crore to state association(s), their lawyer tells the court that matter dates to 2015-16 when Star and Sony had given compensation which was to be given to associations.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20162:08 pm

Hearing is back underway at the Supreme Court in the BCCI vs Justice Lodha panel case

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:50 pm

Hearing has been adjourned till 2 PM

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:49 pm

Justice Thakur has asked the Lodha panel counsel on the qualifications that they want in administrators who they wish to take over the BCCI in the interim.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:47 pm

I think we’re coming to a point where they (BCCI top brass) are asking for their suspension by Supreme Court: Chief Justice of India TS Thakur

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:34 pm

Request made to initiate civil and criminal contempt against the BCCI:

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Some hilarity from inside the court room:

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:30 pm

Amicus Curiae Subramanium recommends administrators of impeccable integrity must be placed to initiate the reforms. Interim board must be set up to implement the recommendations, he says.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:29 pm

SC asks Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam to identify new administrators if BCCI’s top brass is ousted by the verdict.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:29 pm

BCCI getting plenty of flak in the court. BCCI appointed Justice Markandey Katju as line of contact between the Lodha committee and the board. But Katju publicly said he will not meet the committee. “Don’t just respect us (SC) in words but also in deeds,” CJI Thakur tells BCCI.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:27 pm

Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramium comes down heavily on Justice Markandey Katju “I have never seen a former judge of the supreme court holding press conference and making remarks about sitting judges of this Court,” Subramanium tells Supreme Court.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 20161:23 pm

Supreme Court tells BCCI: You can’t transfer 400 crore to states overnight. You must have a transparent policy on money disbursement

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 201612:53 pm

The hearing in the case is underway. It could be a bad day for the current board if things go as per Justice Lodha panel’s wish of having the top brass removed and a radical change

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 201612:16 pm

BCCI has refuted allegations of non-compliance with Lodha committee recommendations

BCCI says “a meeting comprising all members took place, and several recommendations of the Lodha Committee were rejected by voting”. BCCI says “records of 40 mails sent to Justice Lodha will be submitted to the court, not true that we didn’t respond to Committee’s mails”

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 201612:15 pm

Justice Lodha in the morning: We have said everything we wanted to say in our report, SC will take cognizance now. No comments, no response. What needed to be said has been said, nothing more

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 201611:53 am

Anurag Thakur/BCCI side of things
We’re going by law of the land – Tamil Nadu Societies Act, says Anurag Thakur

BCCI president Anurag Thakur says the Societies Act doesn’t allow him to implement constitutional reforms without two-thirds of the members agreeing with the changes. He wants the Supreme Court judges to hear their problems one last time. Excerpts from an interview:

BCCI seems to be playing the ‘who blinks first’ game. By delaying the implementation of reforms, you want the courts to order constitutional changes. In case it happens, it will be seen as undermining an autonomous body.
Let me ask a very fundamental question. The BCCI is governed by the Tamil Nadu Societies Act, and as per that, you can make an amendment to the constitution with a three-fourth majority. For that, we can only invite the members to meet and adopt (the Lodha recommendations). We have done that. Now the only issue is, it is up to the members what are the amendments, according to the TN Societies Act, which they can or can’t adopt. I can’t force them, I can just facilitate, which I did. They have adopted various recommendations, even something like having a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) member in the apex body. No one from the media highlighted that the BCCI had agreed to have a nominee of the CAG despite the fact that we don’t take a single penny from the government. Why should you have CAG? We don’t take any money from government. Societies Act doesn’t allow you to do that.

But the BCCI hasn’t adopted the three main structural changes: cooling-off period, curtailed tenure and one-state-one-vote.
How can you compare Mumbai with other organisations? One has given 30 to 40 international players and won the Ranji Trophy 44 times and it gets compared with a state that doesn’t even have 15 quality players. Is this good for Indian cricket? Is it fair on Mumbai, or say Baroda, who have given so much to Indian cricket when BCCI didn’t have money?
About the three-year cooling period. We get elected, we are not nominated. In many organisations, people are nominated from one position to another. Do they have a cooling-off period? They are nominated, we are elected, that’s the basic difference.
Players like Anil Kumble got elected and got into the system. Players like Brijesh Patel, Arshad Ayub, Shivlal Yadav, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sourav Ganguly, Anurag Thakur, (MP) Pandove, Chetan Chauhan got elected and got into the system. Nobody stopped them, there are still hundreds of players who are part of associations. It is a fake thing to say that give power to cricketers. Who is stopping them?

How do you see this BCCI defiance of the Supreme Court order? Isn’t this contempt of court?
Recently, there was a PIL filed in the Supreme Court to bring transparency in the judicial system. Was that accepted? What was the outcome? Every organisation needs transparency, was that accepted by the Supreme Court? They said there has to be a change in the law as per the law of the land. We are also dealing with the law of the land, which is the TN Societies Act. That’s why a three-fourth majority is needed to accept a reform, we can’t force members. If the members have any objections, the court must listen or the Lodha committee must look into it.

Fair or unfair is a different debate, but once the SC passes an order, doesn’t defying it mean contempt of court?
Nobody is defying, they have given us timelines and we have implemented those timelines (set by the Lodha committee). We have held the meeting, we have adopted recommendations and many which were not practical or BCCI is facing problems with, the members said they will go back to the court and explain what are the difficulties. Even the BCCI deserves justice, isn’t it?

But all these arguments have already taken place in the court during the hearing …
What is wrong in listening to them again and why can’t the committee look into it again?

There is talk of a court-appointed administrator, from within the BCCI, expected to take charge after Thursday’s hearing …
The Supreme Court is supreme, I have highest respect for them but we need to look at the autonomy of the BCCI too. I don’t want to comment on the administrator as I don’t see any reason for that. If the office-bearers have taken the matter to the members, they have done their duty.

Do you think this is a judicial over-reach?
I am nobody to say that, I have the highest respect for the judges. I think they will understand and recognise the good work done by the board and Team India’s achievements.

But do you think the judges are qualified to set rules like number of selectors needed to pick the national team and how they should all be Test players …
I have a lot of respect for Justice Lodha and other members and I am sure they have done their best in this report. But they need to understand that say someone like Rajendra Goel, he was a beautiful left-arm spinner who couldn’t play for the country as Bishan Singh Bedi was playing. Is it his inefficiency or is he not qualified to be a selector? I think he was equally good. There have been several cases in the past of players playing a couple of matches, doing well, scoring runs, and then being dropped. That was because there were players like Sachin, Sourav, Laxman and Dravid. They would occupy majority of the places in the team and others couldn’t play that number of matches. So can we take away the credibility of someone who has played 100 first-class matches and just a few ODIs? What matters is how committed you are, how transparent you are.
There is also the thing about selectors. You can pick selectors from the people who have applied. I can’t pick Laxman or Sanjay Manjrekar. They might have better things to do in life. They must have been away because of conflict of interest or other things. Mark Waugh does commentary and is a selector, here in India it’s called conflict of interest. These are the practical difficulties we need to open up to.

You say you are a positive person, what happens on October 6?
I am very optimistic.

But do you think there is a way out?
No, I personally feel Justice Lodha is a very respectable man and he will definitely look into this. Both BCCI and his committee will look into the interests of cricket. Yes, there is going to be a solution and we are ready for a dialogue. All they need to do is write an email or call us, we will be more than happy to discuss all the issues.

The Lodha report says several of their emails were unanswered …
Their secretary writes to us, our department also writes to them. I met them personally, Ajay Shirke met them personally. There is no question of disobeying anything.

They want you to follow the report in toto … Why will the committee bend?
There is a way out, there is nothing personal. These are very respected people and we are more than happy to speak to them, whenever they find time, at their convenience, we will make ourselves available.

There is this perception that BCCI want to got out fighting …
What fighting? We are not fighting anyone. All of us are here to take decisions for the betterment of Indian cricket.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 201611:46 am

JUSTICE LODHA side of things

We’ve gone by what the court asked us to do, says Justice Lodha

The BCCI will be presenting its progress report on the implementation of the Justice R M Lodha Committee’s recommendations to the Supreme Court on Thursday. On eve of what could be a landmark day in Indian cricket, The Indian Express spoke with Justice Lodha and heard his side of the story.

How did you react to the news about the possibility of cancellation of the NZ tour?
It was a little surprising. I don’t think the Test in Indore was going to be rescheduled. Today, we got the details of disbursement (of funds to associations) after the BCCI took the decision. Surprisingly, from October 1 to 3, before our email reached the banks, they had disbursed the funds to about 12 or 13 state associations. However, Madhya Pradesh was not one of them. Now, where is the question of any threat to the Test match? I don’t think international matches can be dealt like this.

Do you think the BCCI is also playing a game that is not cricket?
It does seem, to some extent. BCCI must understand that initially the Supreme Court gave the committee the task to suggest reforms. We did that after an exercise that lasted almost a year. Our report was submitted on January 4, 2016. When we submitted our report, it was only recommendatory. Thereafter, the court heard the BCCI. They for months argued the matter, took all sorts of objections. After an elaborate and detailed hearing, the SC pronounced their verdict on July 18, 2016. Once the verdict was pronounced, the report got merged into the verdict, it got a seal of approval from the SC. The BCCI might have had their difficulties in the implementation of diverse things which we had recommended, they had argued about it. One may agree, one may not agree, but the judgment is binding, it has to be respected.

BCCI says that according to the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, under which BCCI is registered, they can only change their constitution if they have a three-fourth majority. They say they didn’t have that consensus, so they can’t implement the changes…
Maybe the judgment doesn’t directly deal with it, I can’t say off hand, but surely all the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Registration Act must have been considered. If that was not the case, the plea was not amenable to the court’s jurisdiction. The court told BCCI that ‘look you are governing cricket in India, you are discharging a public function, so while discharging a public function, you are amenable to judicial review’. Maybe, the judgment doesn’t refer to the specific provision of the TN Societies Registration Act. Now the entire gamut of reasoning is that here is a body, registered under an Act, discharging public function and it is amenable to judicial review. Once a body is amenable to judicial review, what relief should be given and what directive should be given, it is the job of the court, and that is what the SC has done.

What has been the task of the committee?
The SC gave us two tasks. Draw the timeline for the implementation and supervision of the implementation. We have gone by what SC asked us to do. We gave timelines in two phases. We have not touched upon the routine affairs of BCCI in any manner.
One of the timelines we gave the BCCI concerned the framing of disbursement policy. The report says disbursement to state associations must be need-based. It can’t be uniform. We wanted institutional decision- making. Not that this time they will get Rs 80 crore, tomorrow somebody else comes and says let’s give everyone Rs 100 crore. We directed BCCI that by September 30, 2016 you frame the disbursement policy. They didn’t just miss the deadline, but in the third meeting they decided to disburse the additional funds. They gave Rs 10 to 20 crore to each association. This is directly in conflict with the timeline and the subject of reforms. This is not a routine matter.

Do you think the BCCI thought we will manage things, hence the delay?
I can only say once the highest court of the land has given its verdict, it has to be respected. What message you are sending to players about discipline? Law is very important. If an order is passed and if you are not implementing, you are denting the rule of law.
The panel seems to be too kind to players. They are nominated, not elected, and every international cricketer directly becomes a state member.
We have never said that BCCI should be managed and run by players. Players are very important stakeholders, you can’t run an institution without one of the important stakeholders’ voice being there. Their inputs are very valuable. Not that they are the best administrators. Look, all lawyers don’t have to be good judges. Ultimately one has to deliver.

In your report, you seem to be getting into the nitty-gritty of cricketing affairs. Do you think the judges were qualified to suggest how many selectors should be there and abolition of zones?
This is not a fair. We interacted with a large number of people, which included six former captains, about eight to 10 top players, all BCCI officials, some of them from past, journalists, police officers and other administrators. We found that the system of having zonal selectors was leading to a lot of nepotism, favouritism. If you are disbanding the zonal system and you continue to have five, indirectly there will be a person in the committee from each zone. So we had to replace that number with another number. It could be any number . 3, 7, 11. We settled for three. We have provided a talent search committee, so the basic task of finding talent is with that committee. It would be a feeder to the selectors. The arguments that how only three selectors can pick a national team is a bogey.

But the question remains: should the judiciary be taking cricketing decisions?
Look, we thought that we are not interfering with cricket matters. See, number of selectors is an administrative matter. How many selectors, composition of team etc, that is not a cricketing matter. Cricketing matter is who is being selected. Look what happened to Mohinder Amarnath. How did the then president overrule him. (Mohinder Amarnath, as a selector, wanted to replace MS Dhoni as captain. It is said the then BCCI president N Srinivasan vetoed the decision.) The idea is to disband a monopolised approach and to bring in institutionalised thinking.

What about your recommendation of 15 days’ international break before and after IPL?
It is very important to understand. IPL is a long-duration tournament. You remember an important member of the national team was injured during IPL and missed an overseas tour. The idea is to ensure longevity of players in the game. So if a player gets injured, there are 15 days to recoup.
BCCI is saying they have a few practical problems in implementation. At this stage, is there any time or reason for them to have a word with you?
Look, now it has to be in front of the court. It was court’s judgment. Now I don’t think anyone outside the court can change the court’s order.

Do you think this is a case of judicial overreach?
If a court gives you a task, you are armed with the court’s order. You don’t go into the wisdom of the court or the correctness of the judgment. You have to comply with the directive given to you.

Were you surprised by the BCCI’s attack on the secretary to your committee, Gopal Sankaranarayanan?
Yes, I am surprised by the way they are speaking about the committee. I have been telling repeatedly that ours is not an adversarial job. We are not adversaries to the BCCI. We are doing what the court has asked us to do. Now someone told me, what was attributed to the BCCI president, that the committee’s action of writing email to banks was not in good faith. Now ‘good faith’ are very strong words. It’s unfortunate, without comprehending they are saying things. Out of their anxiety they do these things, we don’t respond to these things.

If the reforms get implemented, everyone in the present set-up will be wiped out. Will be a limbo?
No it doesn’t happen like this. There is a huge pool of talent available, not anybody is indispensable. Look, it shouldn’t be confined to a few people. So many people are there who can be excellent administrators. They can fail also but it will be after they have got an opportunity, it’s not rocket science.

Tanuj Lakhina October 6, 201611:40 am

Lodha-BCCI judgment day: Supreme Court panel set to take over cricket board

A new Supreme Court appointed panel of administrators, which will supersede the present BCCI office bearers, is expected to take over Indian cricket on Thursday.

The apex court is likely to take this watershed decision at the hearing where the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is to give a progress report on implementing the Justice R M Lodha Committee’s recommendations.

With the Board rejecting most of Lodha’s suggestions at its special general meeting in Mumbai last week, the court will be left with no option but to clip the wings of BCCI’s high-profile officials, putting a question mark over their future as cricket administrators.

On the eve of judgment day, hoping for a last-minute relief, BCCI president Anurag Thakur wanted one last meeting with the Lodha committee to explain the practical problems in implementing reforms.

“Our members said they want to go back to court and explain their difficulties. Even the BCCI deserves justice, isn’t it?” he told The Indian Express.

But the plea didn’t cut any ice with the judges. Justice Lodha told this paper, “I don’t think anyone outside the court, anyone can change the court’s order.”

Though cricket circles were abuzz with speculation about SC’s impending decision, the writing seems to be on the wall: The BCCI is in for a complete overhaul.

Lodha added that his committee’s recommendations were non-negotiable. “BCCI must understand that initially, the SC formed our committee to suggest reforms, which we complied with after a year-long exercise. When we submitted the report on January 6, 2016, they were merely recommendations. But after that, the court heard the BCCI, who argued the matter and took all sorts of objections. After the elaborate hearing, SC pronounced its verdict and our report was merged with the SC verdict. It got a seal of approval from the SC. One may agree or may not agree but the judgment is binding and it should be respected,” he said.

The BCCI, on its part, has agreed to some recommendations but three major ones — one-state-one-vote, cooling-off period and three-year tenure — have not gone down well the majority of cricket officials. This is because if the three administrative reforms are implemented, almost the entire cricket officialdom would automatically get disqualified.

Lodha acknowledged that the BCCI would see a massive administrative void, but said he isn’t worried that the game would suffer. “It doesn’t happen, there is a huge pool of talent available. Nobody is indispensable. Given a chance, people will prove better. Administration should not be confined to a few people. They may even fail but it will be after they get an opportunity. It is no rocket science,” he said.

The BCCI, meanwhile, said that courts have been unfair to them. “Recently, there was a PIL filed in SC to bring transparency in the judicial system. Was that accepted, what was the outcome? Every organisation needs transparency, was that accepted by SC? They said there has to be a change in the law as per the law of the land. We are also dealing with the law of the land, which is the TN Societies Act. That’s why a three-fourth majority is needed to accept a reform; we can’t force members. If members have any objections, the court must listen or the Lodha committee must look into it,” Thakur said.