Supreme Court on Thursday asked BCCI to implement directions of Lodha committee for reforming the cricket body or the Court will be forced to take hard steps and pass necessary orders. The court is likely to produce an order in this regard on Friday if the BCCI fails to comply with the undertaking required.
The court pulled up the cricketing body for its payment to the tune of Rs 500 crore to state associations without due process and transparency especially with some of the local bodies not complying with the law. The apex court took exception to BCCI’s plea that state associations are not under it. “People want money from you and you say they don’t want to reform; stop giving funds to such state bodies,” said the Court to BCCI.
With their backs against the wall, BCCI’s representative in Court declined to give undertaking not to disburse grant to state bodies & abide by all directions of Lodha panel.
The court stressed on the need for transparency by BCCI in its disbursement of funds and has asked it to stop doing so without due nod by the Court. Supreme Court underlined that what BCCI earns is public money that must be used transparently. It added that BCCI can’t give money to state associations which don’t comply.
The court and Amicus Gopal Subramanian also came down heavily on Justice Markande Katju who was appointed as the common face between the Court and the BCCI. Subramanian said Katju took advantage of being an ex-Supreme Court judge in his running of things. “I have never seen a former judge of the Supreme Court holding press conference and making remarks about sitting judges of this Court,” he said of Katju.
He also asked the Court to initiate civil and criminal contempt against BCCI.
The Court also questioned the BCCI officials’ qualifications to run the board after Kapil Sibal, appearing for the BCCI, said Anurag Thakur – the board president – is a former Ranji Trophy player. To which the Chief Justice of India TS Thakur quipped, “We are all cricketers here. I was captain of the Supreme Court team.”
Amicus Curiae Subramanium also recommended administrators of impeccable integrity must be placed to initiate reforms in the BCCI. “Interim board must be set up to implement the recommendations,” he said.