India news July 8, 2017

BCCI panel suggests court reconsider three Lodha recommendations

Niranjan Shah was an invitee on the panel that discussed which Lodha recommendations should be put before the Supreme Court for reconsideration © PTI

The BCCI has successfully narrowed down the list of Lodha Committee recommendations that it wants reviewed by the Supreme Court to three. The points that the special panel which discussed the recommendations in Mumbai on Saturday wants the court to reconsider are: the three-year cooling off period for office bearers and members of the apex council, the one-state one-vote policy, and the demarcation in roles of office bearers and professionals.

The seven-member panel was appointed by the BCCI on June 27 with a view to identify the "few critical points" in the implementation of the Supreme Court order. India's finance minister Arun Jaitley, also a former vice-president of the BCCI, had met the panel earlier this week and asked them to narrow down the points of difficulties from seven to three or four, before presenting them to the Supreme Court. As a result, the new list did not feature an objection to the age cap of 70 years for office bearers, and the number of selectors being brought down from five to three.

Given the panel has decided not to challenge the age cap of 70, it might seem that veteran officials such as N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah - who himself, incidentally, was an "invitee" to the special panel - will be on their way out. However, the age-cap recommendation only extends to office bearers, and not nominees or invitees to any committee of the BCCI or state associations - like in the case of Shah in this panel - and that could be a loophole unless the Supreme Court specifically says otherwise.

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, who convened the panel on Saturday, said these three points would now be sent to the board, which will hold a Special General Meeting (SGM) before the Supreme Court's next hearing on July 14.

The BCCI, according to Choudhary, wants the one-state one-vote policy to be reconsidered "with the view that the present members of the BCCI continue to remain members; at the same time, enroll new members, including those from the north-east, after following the due process".

For the cooling off period, Choudhary stated since a cap of nine years had been placed on the cumulative duration any office bearer held office for, the panel thought the cooling off period may be "put in abeyance". He also said if the rule of cooling off period for office bearers could be done away with, it should apply to the membership of the apex council too. "All we are saying is, once you've placed a cap of nine years, this cooling off can be removed. And that should also apply to the apex council," he said.

The third point, which Choudhary did not elaborate on, deals with the demarcation of functions as set out between the elected office bearers, for example a secretary, and the professional appointees, like a board CEO. The Lodha Committee had suggested there be a segregation between the powers of the two, which the BCCI has objected to since its office bearers, such as the president and secretary, have wielded power historically and the appointment of a CEO is a more recent concept. When asked if the BCCI wanted this recommendation to be removed entirely, Choudhary only said, "it needs a review".

The panel to shortlist the recommendations for review comprised IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, vice-president TC Mathew, Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly, Naba Bhattacharjee of the Meghalaya Cricket Association and Jay Shah, the joint-secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association. The panel had been asked to submit a report with the list of difficulties by July 10. Ganguly and Mathews, though, did not attend the meeting on Saturday as they were traveling.

Vishal Dikshit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • arkasa5033096 on July 9, 2017, 7:20 GMT

    Implement all the recommendations strictly! It is a supreme court order. Isn't there any law and order system in India? How can a messed up body disobey the court order for a year??

  • Alex on July 9, 2017, 1:31 GMT

    One State one board should never be diluted. Otherwise lodha committe recommendations are useless for fans. Basically power changed hands and business remain same. What we need is change in business practices so it is transparent and accountable.

  • frank on July 9, 2017, 0:53 GMT

    So,all the things that the Supreme Court brought in to clean up BCCI - hardly a surprise. When are BCCI officials going to accept the law of the land? In Britain,not complying with a court order is a crime for which you can be jailed.

  • Prateek on July 8, 2017, 18:53 GMT

    It will be interesting to see of SGM approves it. Likes of N Srinivasan would never agree to this list. But if they go ahead with these 3 objections only, then should Supreme Court not change it's decision, will then can we expect BCCI and states to fully agree with reforms in another 12 months' time? Irrespective of merits of arguments' it will a travesty of justice for court to rule anything but removal of current set of administrators for not complying with the order, start contempt of court proceedings against them, dissolution of existing constitutions of various bodies with immediate effect, and authorizing COA or Lodha Committee to propose and approve new constitutions.

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