Will end BCCI’s defiance, says Supreme Court; verdict slated for today

The bench decided to reserve the matter for orders after BCCI’s counsel Kapil Sibal said it would not be possible for them to furnish an undertaking in a day.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: October 18, 2016 12:44 pm
BCCI, Lodha Panel, BCCI Lodha Panel, Lodha Panel BCCI, Lodha BCCI, BCCI Lodha, Justice RM Lodha, Supreme Court, India cricket, Cricket India, Cricket news, Cricket The bench decided to reserve the matter for orders on Friday after the BCCI’s counsel Kapil Sibal said it would not be possible for the board to furnish an undertaking in a day.

With the BCCI declining to provide an undertaking by Friday that it will abide by all directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel, the apex court said it would pass orders tomorrow to put an end to the “defiance” of the cricket board and make sure “public money” is used transparently.

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A bench, led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, said the BCCI’s approach was “very unfortunate” and regretted that the panel was forced to make a plea for replacing the cricket body’s management with a panel of independent administrators to facilitate reforms.

The bench decided to reserve the matter for orders on Friday after the BCCI’s counsel Kapil Sibal said it would not be possible for the board to furnish an undertaking in a day, while stating in unequivocal terms that it would comply with the Lodha panel’s recommendations.

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“We will not waste our time in such matters when there are thousands of people languishing in jails only because their cases cannot be heard. You give to us an unconditional undertaking that you will abide by all directions of the Lodha committee…or we will pass orders,” the bench had told Sibal.

The bench had sought a solemn statement from the BCCI that not only would it stop any further disbursement of money to state cricket associations but also that the funds already distributed shall be deposited safely in bank accounts.

At this, Sibal and senior lawyer Arvind Datar pointed out that the domestic season was already underway and state associations had their teams playing matches across the country. “The entire season will have to stop. It was because the Lodha panel had said that domestic grounds will have to be avoided that Tamil Nadu and Mumbai are playing a Ranji match in Haryana’s Rohtak. Who pays for their travel and other expenditure? Please don’t hurt cricket. Let the game not suffer,” appealed the lawyers.

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The bench was irked over the fact that BCCI had given money to the state associations despite their refusal to accept the new memorandum of associations proposed by the Lodha panel, which was set up to usher in more transparency and accountability in the game’s governance. It also took exception to Sibal’s contention that the money belonged to these associations.

“Season or no season…we don’t care about your season. Transparency and fairness must be there. Everyone needs to cooperate with the Lodha panel. You must make your stand clear first. If you yourself are acting in defiance, what’s the point…this defiant attitude won’t lead you anywhere. And it is nobody’s money. It is public money. You discharge a public function and this money must be used transparently,” the court told the BCCI.

The bench asked Sibal and Datar why the BCCI was giving money to state associations if they were not paying heed to the mandate of the Lodha panel. “You say state associations are not agreeable and therefore, the new memorandum was not adopted. Stop paying them. They cannot keep getting money and say at the same time that we won’t reform. If you are so keen on them playing matches, make them comply. Stop your funds. You cannot give money to those who don’t listen to you. They must fall in line or forego their money,” it said.

The court said that these local bodies survived because of the money they got from BCCI although Datar pointed out that the funds given to the state associations last month was due to them since 14 months and that it was not a fresh disbursement.

Stating that BCCI did not have any control over these associations since they were registered under separate statutes, Sibal sought a week’s time to let the BCCI persuade them to adopt the new MoA. He said that the bench could pass a judicial order on the next date if the state associations do not agree.

But the bench said that there was no question of persuading anybody, and that the BCCI will have to stop giving money to them.

Earlier, amicus curiae and senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium supported the Lodha panel’s plea to replace the entire top brass of BCCI with a panel of administrators in the wake of their alleged resistance to reforms. He also pleaded that the court should haul up the BCCI for civil and criminal contempt.

At this, the bench noted that BCCI’s office-bearers were elected and most of them did not have any specific qualifications. “They (Lodha panel) have been forced to a situation where they are asking for superseding of the entire top management of BCCI. It is coming from a court-appointed panel that has highly respected members. It is very unfortunate that things have come to such a situation. You should not only say that you have high regard for this court but this should be visible in your deeds, too,” the bench told the BCCI.

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  1. S
    Sirius
    Oct 7, 2016 at 4:54 am
    Very well said ! It's the case of the pot (SC) calling the kettle (BCCI) black, and asking kettle to clean itself or else pot will clean it up ! Well, kettle should call the bluff of the pot , and go ahead and do its bidding and also accept the responsibility of its actions ...
    Reply
    1. J
      John
      Oct 7, 2016 at 2:10 am
      Support Sc judge on this. India needs put BEHIND BARS in TIHAR all the crony capitalists. I think any guy in India who cannot make an honest Buck is a S0B These corrupt BCCI guys should be arrested ASAP.
      Reply
      1. P
        Pissgt;Ongt;Brahmans
        Oct 7, 2016 at 2:57 am
        Aur yeh gend par chhakkka. Kudos honorable justice. Nobody is above laws. Public money must have transparency whether is used by IPL or Mahatma hi.
        Reply
        1. C
          Col S
          Oct 7, 2016 at 3:22 am
          TWO SINS of BCCI are _. POLITICAL COLLUSION to PER FUNDS and DEFY SC orders. MUST be packed and sent to JAIL.
          Reply
          1. G
            Gopal
            Oct 6, 2016 at 11:21 pm
            The courts want to take over cricket. They want to decide when matches are to be held. They also want to create new procedures regardless of whether there is law to back it up. In BCCI, they have found a rich juicy target and an organization that is also tainted. The project here is not so much to clean up BCCI as it is to cover themselves in glory and divert attention from the corruption, incompetence and lack of transparency in the courts themselves.
            Reply
            1. H
              Himanshu
              Oct 7, 2016 at 1:59 am
              Seems SC is also in trested in the milking cow :)
              Reply
              1. H
                Himanshu
                Oct 7, 2016 at 2:03 am
                Srini was the best .... he has taqken into the interest of the India and Indian Cricket at world stage , this SC is Ch***ya .. but can't help as no body controls them as they feel they know everyrthing and they are god....No committee in BCCI is benefiting, they all work to make money for BCCI and the players.. wghat's wrong in ti ??lt;br/gt; may be we need retired judges like lohda so they can mkake their living..
                Reply
                1. K
                  kb
                  Oct 6, 2016 at 5:14 pm
                  I for one salute SC for the firm stand against BCCI's defiance. Perhaps BCCI would not exist if transparency and fairness are insisted upon. Lack of transparency and mismanagement only hurts cricket, the only game where India's name is heard internationally. Millions of Indians even forego their meals to watch cricket, and they should not be deprived of justice.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Sankaran Krishnan
                    Oct 7, 2016 at 9:16 am
                    BCCI is an collective loot body that consists of Politicians from across all the Major Political parties and those representing as Counsels are also belonged to the Political cl who had occupied Ministerial post in scamsfull UPA regime and hope he Supreme Court will dismantle BCCI and bar the present set up of Members from occupying any post in BCCI and run the BCCI with Professionals as Cricket Administrators !!!
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Ashok Mazumdar
                      Oct 7, 2016 at 4:10 am
                      Today Supreme Court will ensure that BCCI s Mother Enjoys.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Can you mean what I said?
                      Reply
                      1. S
                        surinder
                        Oct 7, 2016 at 1:30 am
                        To maintain dignity and authority of the Supreme Court , the court must act tough to teach a lesson to goons indulging in defiance of its orders . Earlier mighty politicos and their minions were showing teeth and now small piglings are doing the same .
                        Reply
                        1. T
                          Thinker
                          Oct 7, 2016 at 9:14 am
                          BCCI should be dissolved and commercial cricket should be banned. Let's go back to the national sport of hockey.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            raj
                            Nov 22, 2016 at 7:52 am
                            BCCI nothing but bunch of elite politicians and business men enjoy' free five star foreign tours/lavish life style in the name of cricket with public money "SC has crush and nominate independent auditors and vigilance on funds !!!!
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              sathesh
                              Oct 7, 2016 at 5:56 am
                              politicians and big industrialists are looting money from BCCI .our judges are honest and they are going to reform BCCI. Hats off to Justice Thakur and its team
                              Reply
                              1. L
                                lookman
                                Oct 7, 2016 at 5:15 am
                                The supreme court under Thakur is behaving like a terrorist. Was it that unfit men were appointed in key posts for returns in future by KHANgress.Remember Pratibha Patil for president.
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