India news July 14, 2017

Supreme Court serves notice to Srinivasan, Shah


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Ugra: Old BCCI challenging Supreme Court

N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah will have to explain to the Supreme Court of India their roles in stalling the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations. The pair of former BCCI office bearers were singled out by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in a scathing appraisal of the progress - or lack of - made by the BCCI in implementing the recommendations.

The court will hear the matter on July 24, two days before the next BCCI SGM to discuss the recommendations.

At Friday's hearing, Justice Dipak Misra observed that "if a person is disqualified to be an office bearer, he cannot be nominated by office bearers".

Misra's statement is significant because Srinivasan and Shah, despite being disqualified as office bearers on grounds that they are over 70 years old and having exceeded the tenure cap, had attended BCCI meetings as representatives or nominees of their respective state associations - Tamil Nadu and Saurashtra. And according to the CoA's latest status report, Srinivasan and Shah have prevented other BCCI members from reaching a consensus on implementing the Lodha Committee's recommendations.

Over the last month, a special committee was formed by the BCCI to shortlist the most significant problems the board had with those recommendations in order to put them before the court for reconsideration.

However, according to amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium, when the wider BCCI body held special general meetings to discuss and ratify the shortlisted recommendations, the meetings were "hijacked" by Srinivasan and Shah.

"Till now, most recommendations were by and large accepted," Subramanium said, but Srinivasan and Shah kept repeating "nothing can be implemented".

Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of Srinivasan and other state associations, responded on behalf of his client, "I am a member of TNCA. Nobody can take my membership away." The states have argued that the disqualified office bearers - such as Srinivasan and Shah - are not attending the meetings as office bearers but as representatives, and that the Lodha Committee's eligibility criteria did not apply to representatives.

In the status report submitted to the court on July 12, the CoA said disqualified office bearers were "impediments" to the implementation of recommendations.

The BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary, in an affidavit filed in the court on Tuesday, said that five state associations - Tamil Nadu, Saurashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Goa - had objected to the implementation of the recommendations at the SGM on June 26. Choudhary noted the efforts of the CoA, which had met the state associations twice and "stressed" that it could work with the BCCI in "canvassing the impracticality or difficulties that may arise in implementation of some clauses" of the recommendations.  

Choudhary said that in addition to the three shortlisted recommendations, the special committee wanted restrictions waived for representatives of states attending board meetings, and members who sit on different committees. "The house also felt there should not be any disqualifications in terms of age, tenure or cooling off for representatives, nominees of the associations and the BCCI and the members of the BCCI committee."

The court did not hear the other requests in the CoA's status report, which will be heard on July 24. The court accepted the resignations of CoA members Vikram Limaye and Ramachandra Guha, and Subramanium submitted six names as possible replacements. Sibal argued that his clients should also be allowed to suggest names; the court granted him the request and decided to hear the matter on July 24.

The lawyer for Railways argued that they had been relegated to Associate status under the one-state-one-vote policy, and despite being regular contributors to Indian cricket, they were not invited to these meetings to decide their fate. They requested a "recall" of that specific part of the order. Subramanium argued this issue had been discussed at length previously, but the court agreed to hear the matter on September 5.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mukundarajan on July 16, 2017, 3:18 GMT

    The CoA appointed by Honble Supreme Court has already proved that they do not take firm stand and try to be good to all i.e Ganguly,Sachin.VVS,Shastri,Dravid and Zaheer. An administrator must be firm and should take decisions for development of the game and not the personalities. See what is happening with over dose of so called player's involvement. That is why, need of the hour is proven material be in charge of the affairs. BCCI, according to me is too big to be handled by new comers and even seasoned administrators who know in and out of all involved incldg ICC will err because of the multiple issues involved.

  • Adam on July 15, 2017, 5:35 GMT

    India needs to clean house. Their cricket seems to be filled with dodgy characters

  • Manish on July 15, 2017, 2:39 GMT

    I find the one-state-one-vote policy ridiculous. What happens to Railways and Services then? States were formed on linguistic lines and they kept splitting ever after. What has that to do with cricket associations? And what about Union Territories? Does the SC consider Andamans, Lakshwadweep and Puducherry not part of the country?

    And Puducherry is further split into Kairekal, Yanam and Mahe - each region that is embedded in a different state. How would that work?

    Simply put - cricket has nothing to do with states, UTs or language. If it does, why not create teams with religions - like in the pentangular. These are state associations and the SC has no business to meddle in their affairs.

  • Bala on July 15, 2017, 2:31 GMT

    Some of those commenting do not understand why the age limit was set to 70. It was not set at that level assuming deterioration in ability. It was set to that level to minimse nepotism and hanging-on-ism, things that grow the longer someone is in a position of power. The other approach to reduce these ills was to limit the number of terms (3 terms for a total of 9 years, with no consecutive terms).

  • Amrutur on July 14, 2017, 21:50 GMT

    Strange this age business of 70 years; India is not a uniform society. There are eighty year olds that run on fifty and vice-versa. The only face saving for the court is to stretch that 70 to eighty.

  • Amrutur on July 14, 2017, 20:54 GMT

    This is overreach by courts, and there is no point dictating terms to lifelong managers of cricket. Let's see, besides cricket what else is run well in India? What is the point to a democratic process?

  • Rajan Nagarajan on July 14, 2017, 19:50 GMT

    Why the court is bother about the age limit. If 70 years old is an issue then the stop the new president of India who is seventy already. Will the court do it? If not they should not do it in BCCI

  • manjula on July 14, 2017, 19:47 GMT

    Not understing this....whatelse a 70 year old disqualify for.

  • Xiong on July 14, 2017, 18:53 GMT

    @Bhargav Mitra Have you considered a position with the BCCI? You seem to have a penchant for nitpicking over technicalities while completely ignoring the bigger picture and the entire point. I'm sure they would be interested to receive your application.

  • roger on July 14, 2017, 18:52 GMT

    Good ! Supreme court keep destroying indian cricket to keep their puppets in power. Good future ahead for indian cricket. Phoenix comes from ashes.

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