The Supreme Court on Friday asked the former BCCI office-bearers — N. Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah — to explain how they attended the June 26 Special General Meeting as the nominee of their state units. Srinivasan and Shah will have to file their responses by July 24. The court made these observations after the Committee of Administrators (COA), in their fourth status report submitted, pointed to the pair’s “disruptive and subversive” role in the implementation of Justice RM Lodha reforms.
“How can a person disqualified by virtue of the apex court order be nominated as nominee of state cricket associations and attend the meeting of BCCI?” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra observed.Both Srinivasan, a former BCCI president, and Shah, an ex-board secretary, are disqualified as office-bearers either in the parent body or their respective state associations by virtue of the apex court’s order. Both are above 70 years of age and exceeded the tenure cap, which render them ineligible as per the Lodha Committee recommendations accepted by the Supreme Court.
Appearing for Srinivasan, advocate Kapil Sibal accepted the court notice but argued that the Srinivasan has no conflict of interest and he can become a nominee of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) by virtue of being a member of the state body. Sibal also said the arguments were being made to target the former cricket administrators.
Srinivasan was reportedly vocal at the June 26 SGM that had been called to discuss the Lodha Committee recommendations. At this meeting, the BCCI formed a special committee to narrow down the ‘critical points’ in the reforms. BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary filed an affidavit before the court, mentioning the shortlisted clauses — one state-one vote, three-member selection committee, cooling off period for office-bearers and powers given to the function of professionals and officials — for the court’s reconsideration. Choudhary also mentioned: “The house also felt there should not be any disqualifications in terms of age, tenure or cooling off for representatives, nominees of the associations and the BCCI and the members of the BCCI committee.”
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar appearing for Railways and Services said the Lodha panel recommendations have relegated them to Associate status, taking away their right to vote despite being the founder members of the BCCI. The bench said: “If we look into the history, we cannot deny the contribution made by Railways to cricket. If any wrong has been done, then it can be corrected.” It said the court will hear the arguments on the aspect of recalling of order on September 5, along with the pleas of various state associations, praying for issuance of funds from the BCCI for holding matches.