India news May 5, 2016

Bishan Singh Bedi, Kirti Azad strongly back Lodha reforms

PTI

"All is not well in the DDCA and BCCI. Therefore, reforms suggested by Justice RM Lodha-led committee should be implemented' - Counsel for Bishan Singh Bedi and Kirti Azad © Getty Images

The counsel for former India players Bishan Singh Bedi and Kirti Azad told the Supreme Court on Thursday that they were in favour of the Lodha committee's recommendations to restructure the BCCI.

Advocate Manish Tiwari, arguing for Bedi, Azad and another former cricketer Sameer Bahadur, also targeted the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for alleged irregularities.

"All is not well in DDCA and BCCI. There are serious difficulties which are affecting the functioning of these cricket bodies. Therefore, reforms suggested by Justice RM Lodha-led committee should be implemented," he told a bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla

Tiwari added that there were several reports against the DDCA, including one in the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and one from Justice Mukul Mudgal, which have pointed out deficiencies in the management of cricket matches.

"Justice Mukul Mudgal, who is former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, was appointed observer for the India-South Africa match in his report had said that the internal audit of DDCA pointed out shortcomings and financial irregularities," Tiwari said. "Monopoly and irregularities have perpetuated over the period of time in the functioning of BCCI and it needs to function in a manner by which the trust of people in the game of cricket is restored."

Tiwari contended the Lodha committee's recommendations could help the BCCI become more capable and its administrators to be more efficient.

The DDCA had been headed by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, for 14 years. Tiwari, a Congress leader appearing for Azad who has been expelled from the BJP, alleged there was no transparency in the elections conducted by cricket associations due to proxy voting and said, "cricket in national capital is in a sorry state."

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for May 10. While there is time for perhaps a further two hearings in this case before the Supreme Court's summer vacation begins on May 15, there is a possibility that a final verdict will only be delivered post the vacation that ends on June 28.

Comments