CoA to BCCI: Adopt new constitution before September election

Diana Edulji, Vikram Limaye and Vinod Rai are part of the BCCI administrative panel appointed by the Supreme Court AFP

The new BCCI constitution, as per the Lodha Committee's recommendations, needs to be in place in order for the board elections to take place at the annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for September. That concern has been raised by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in its status report submitted in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The BCCI, and some of its state associations, has opposed adopting the new constitution despite the Supreme Court making it binding in an order on July 18 last year, and in two other orders in January this year. Various state associations also filed litigations to stall progress, and the court is scheduled to resume hearing the issue on July 14.

The CoA, in its status report, said the court needed to "ensure" the BCCI adopts the new constitution "well prior" to September, so that the elections are held in line with the Lodha Committee's recommendations. The CoA also asked the court to give an ultimatum that the state associations must adopt the new constitution by December this year.

The states were supposed to have aligned their constitution in line with the Lodha Committee recommendations a year after the BCCI adopted the new constitution. As per the timeline devised by the Lodha Committee, the original deadline given to BCCI to adopt the new constitution was September 30 last year.

The CoA argued that because the states had prevented the BCCI from adopting the new constitution - the board needs 3/4ths of its members to be in favour to implement it - they cannot be "permitted to take advantage of the delay". The CoA wanted the states to adopt the new constitution by December 31, one year and three months after the original deadline. "The new BCCI constitution can only be adopted if this Hon'ble court enforces the same."

In order to expedite the process, the CoA asked the Supreme Court to empower it under Article 142 of the Indian constitution to finalise the text of the new constitution, and direct the Registrar of Societies to give effect to the new constitution immediately after submission.