The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking recusal of its nominee from the management position in the BCCI’s Apex Council and the IPL Governing Council. The CAG nominee has been made part of the BCCI’s apex body following the 2016 Supreme Court order based on the Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendations. The apex court had made the CAG representative a part of the all-powerful committee to bring “financial and audit experience” and “independent voices” to the BCCI.
In its plea filed on July 4, the CAG has said that it’s a ‘Supreme Audit Institution of the Country’ and the “auditor of last resort” which is called to “undertake a special audit” if there’s a dispute. It further adds that it’s nominee “is not serving the objectives of the Justice Lodha Committee as well as this Hon’ble Court by being part of the management decisions”.
The CAG says in no way they are requesting for a recall or review of the principal judgement and only praying for a “limited relief”.
On the day the CAG filed the application, its nominee in the BCCI, Alka Rehani Bharadwaj, had raised a red flag over the presence of BCCI secretary Jay Shah at a meeting of the Apex Council scheduled for July 17. Shah has completed his term as secretary, but a BCCI petition seeking extension of the terms of office-bearers is pending before the Supreme Court.
Pointing to the clause regarding a cooling-off period in the BCCI constitution, she asked for the reconstitution of the apex body. Bharadwaj had said that the joint secretary “would be presumably officiating as secretary after the vacation of secretary BCCI post”. A text message to Bharadwaj inquiring if she was aware about the CAG application in the Supreme Court went unanswered.
The CAG application has pointed out that its nominee is just a member in the Apex Council, while the elected office-bearers (five) form the majority. “It is relevant to submit that the CAG’s nominee in the Apex Council is just one of the nine members, and one of the seven members in the IPL Governing Council, and is therefore party to decisions, whether or not she/he is in agreement with those decisions.” the application stated.
The CAG has also written about the “extreme practical difficulties”, saying that “overloading” can “distract” its nominees in the BCCI and state associations from their “core” functioning. The court has been requested that the CAG “may be considered for intervention in the affairs of the BCCI/State Cricket Associations only for the purpose of audit…”
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