India news July 12, 2017

CoA asks Supreme Court to solve Srinivasan-Shah problem

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Ugra: Old BCCI challenging Supreme Court

The Committee of Administrators has turned up the heat on the BCCI's old guard, asking the Supreme Court to take note of the "disruptive and subversive conduct" of disqualified office bearers who were preventing the board from implementing the Lodha Committee's recommendations.

In its fourth status report which the court will consider on July 14, the COA, which was appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the implementation of the Lodha Committee's recommendations, named former BCCI office bearers N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah as being particularly problematic to the process.

Srinivasan and Shah had become ineligible to continue in their roles as heads of the Tamil Nadu and Saurashtra Cricket Associations, and to attend BCCI meetings, after the court approved the Lodha report on July 18, 2016. They were disqualified because they were over the prescribed 70-year age cap and had exceeded the maximum tenure for office bearers.

Yet both Srinivasan and Shah have found ways to stay involved in administration and attend important BCCI meetings, including the most recent special general meetings (SGM) of the board on May 7 and June 26. Those two SGMs had been convened for the BCCI's members - the state associations - to approve the new constitution, as per the Lodha Committee's recommendations.

The CoA said the SGM on June 26 was "manifestly disruptive". In its report, the CoA told the court that it had managed to convince the majority of the state associations to adopt the recommendations but the SGM was "hijacked" by the disqualified former office bearers.

"From an audio recording of the SGM, it appears that such disqualified persons were able to effectively hijack proceedings at the SGM by prevailing upon other attendees (who may have been otherwise willing to facilitate the reform process) to either support the cause of such disqualified person or remain silent," the COA said.  

Srinivasan and Shah, and other disqualified administrators, had attended the meetings as a representative or nominee of their state association. In their defence, the TNCA and SCA said the Lodha Committee's eligibility norms were for office bearers and not representatives. The CoA countered in its report that the "true intention" of the court's order had been violated on a technicality.

"In this manner, such disqualified persons are effectively able to do indirectly what they have been prohibited by this Hon'ble Court from doing directly," the CoA said. "Such disqualified persons have a vested interest in stalling implementation of the Judgement because, if the Judgment is implemented, such disqualified person will have to relinquish control over their respective State/Member Associations."

The COA also noted that though the three existing BCCI office bearers - CK Khanna (acting president), Amitabh Choudhary (secretary), and Anirudh Chaudhry (treasurer) - had given written consent to the Supreme Court, only Choudhary urged the members to take "concrete steps" to implement the reforms at the SGM on June 26. Chaudhry, the COA said, was a "mute spectator, lacking the courage and conviction" to support the implementation of the Lodha Committee's recommendations.

The BCCI's recent decision to form a special committee to shortlist "critical points" from the Lodha recommendations that it wanted the Supreme Court to reconsider, was also criticised by the CoA. Such a committee, the COA said in its report, was formed almost a year after the order was delivered last year, clearly indicative of the resistance to the reforms. The COA requested the court to "remove the impediments to implementation" of the Lodha Committee's recommendations.

Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mosesjact on July 13, 2017, 12:30 GMT

    The problems of cricket can only be solved from within. There is no other cricketing country where problems are solved through the courts. No other game depends on the courts of law. The courts exist to solve legal problems. MOSESJACT

  • mukundarajan on July 13, 2017, 8:06 GMT

    Are they afraid that there will be a counter All India body running the cricket in India, considering the support from the State Assn to the two NSs.

    The CoA can not force State Assns to toe the line of CoA. They are independent and wishful thinking of some journalists / channels may not happen. Lodha recommendations are not VEDAS and UPANISHADS and may not stand the test of time.

    It looks like Honbl'SC will not take an early decision as the wicket is still sticky.

  • Jose on July 13, 2017, 7:34 GMT

    @Cricinfouser on July 12, 2017, 17:09 GMT

    Everybody is not a Dalmiya, my dear.

    Every animal in the forest doesn't get flummoxed

    in front of the car lights like a deer!

    You, just can't frame a rule

    based on a sample of one or two, dear!

    Jose...P

  • Supratik on July 13, 2017, 2:06 GMT

    It's impractical to expect SC to keep creating new rules to shut Srini, Shah out of the scene entirely. Rather, the CoA's focus should be on implementing the reforms asap. Under the reforms, people like Srini/Shah cannot hold office bearer positions and can only be involved if they are representatives or advisers - meaning they will need to report to the elected/eligible office bearers. If they do something against the new constitution they shall be held responsible by their superiors (ie the office bearers) and if it is found they engaged in nefarious activities without any penalty, the office bearers shall be open to prosecution. Also under the reforms, the voting system in each state is transparent and accountable hence it will be difficult for these disqualified officials to stack voting members with their "yes-men".The SC should simply say that any state not complying with reforms shall lose all voting rights within BCCI and also not receive any disbursement from BCCI.

  • Rameez on July 12, 2017, 19:53 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER ON JULY 12, 2017, 17:09 GMT - Seriously!!! Why 70??? Does Lodha committee feel that someone would be fit enough to run cricket until they are 69 and once they turn 70, they would be physically/mentally not fit enough to be able to do so??? This is one point of the Lodha committee's report that I don't understand. Physical/mental eligibility will need to be tested by means of interviews (and stuff like that) to know if they are fit enough for the job rather than having an age cap. One could be very fit to run the office even at the age of 80 while the other could be very sick even at 40. Just saying!!!

  • Chetan on July 12, 2017, 19:14 GMT

    I think SC should focus on more critical cases than BCCI. Give the BCCI management 2 options - 1. Rights of a private, irresponsible entity which can play their inter-club matches & select a Srinivasan / Shah 11 OR 2. A Public, responsible, honest & transparent entity that will do what they have been asked to do by the highest court in India. If BCCI opts for option 1, they should be notified that they, their sponsors & partners in any way may not claim to represent India either directly OR by any indirect references in any kind of event.

  • Pradeep on July 12, 2017, 17:09 GMT

    Let me tell you why the age limit of 70 is set by Lodha committee. Lodha committee went to talk to MrJagmohan Dalmiya regarding the cleanup work. Mr Dalmiya at the age of 75 became BCCI president as a consensus candidate between Mr Srinivasan faction and Mr Pawar faction. Lodha committee was shocked to find Mr Dalmiya in a state (due to his age) where he could not even give some basic details. We know he died within few months. BCCI due to their internal politics decided to put a man incharge even though he was not in his senses. This was a political game played in a sporting body. If you cant run cricket, then you should not. Age limit of 70 is reasonable.

  • Sriram on July 12, 2017, 15:13 GMT

    Shows whose actually the big boss. Its now an ego issue for Srini and co. Wont bugde without a fight despite SC orders. BCCI as powerful as politicians in India

  • Jose on July 12, 2017, 13:19 GMT

    Being 80 and functioning pretty well, I find it a bit tough to understand the age limit of 70!

    Hon Justice Lodha, and the SC who approved THAT particular part of your recommendation: Why ? Did you give any reasoning. I don't remember to have read it anywhere. May be, I am ineligible to read? (Also testing out whether I can get back my own 'brand name', even if it is modified a bit, instead of being dumped as a generic product. Trying out a new logging-on to this site. It may not still work. Duhh!)

  • Prateek on July 12, 2017, 12:06 GMT

    Will it finally be end of Srini? It's high time court sets an example for future and not just simply barred him from performing any roles with BCCI or its affiliated units. It has been clear for everyone what the judgement was and what's going in is an open defiance of the order. If at the very minimum Supreme Court does not initiate Contempt of Court proceedings against likes of Srini and Shah and their backers at their home associations, it will not send the right message. After all, anyone who is asked to pay a fine or go to jail can find difficulties in complying with the ruling. Are we playing a satire here or this is real life?

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