Mumbai: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken the confrontation too far it seems against the Supreme Court appointed Lodha panel. Chief Justice of India Justice TS Thakur said that BCCI thinks its “law unto itself” and is running away from responsibility on the core issues of governance.
Does the BCCI think it can violate our orders and get away with it?” Justice Thakur also asked, saying the top court would hear the Lodha Commission’s complaint on October 6.
“When the high-powered committee gives its report, we don’t expect this sort of conduct from BCCI. Fall in line otherwise we will pass orders,” the Chief Justice said.
The commission headed by former chief Justice of India RM Lodha said that BCCI top brass including president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke are not complying with the recommendations and carrying on with the proceedings of BCCI as if nothing has happened.
“We have asked the court that current office bearers need to be superseded by a panel of arbitrators. now it’s for the court to decide who this panel will be,” Justice Lodha told NDTV today, adding, “Our directives have been violated by the BCCI. We have told court that.”
Among reforms that the Lodha panel has suggested are bringing the world’s richest cricket board under the Right to Information or RTI Act, and that no minister or government servant be appointed as a BCCI office-bearer.
It had asked BCCI to implement the reforms and changes in constitution by September 30 and by mid December there has to be a formation of nine-member committee to replace the existing board’s working committee.
The richest cricketing body in the world had acquired the services of retired Justice Markandey Katju to look into the nitty-gritty of the findings and on his advice they filed a review petition in SC to challenge the decision.
The BCCI has called in Special General Meeting (SGM) on the last day of September and are hoping for a miracle to get out of the mess they had created for themselves in the first place.
The whole saga started with IPL 2013 scandal, where then BCCI president N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was caught for illegal betting on his own team CSK. Aditya Verma, member of Cricket association of Bihar filed the petition in the court to challenge the status quo of BCCI and the non action of BCCI on such a big issue surrounding the game.
In further setback, BCCI might terminate the services of Gagan Khoda and Jatin Paranjpe as newly appointed selectors. The selection committee was formed just a few days back headed by MSK Prasad.
The Lodha panel will supersede all the decisions taken during the recent AGM, where new selection committee was formed as they were not in accordance with July 18 judgement.
Both Khoda (2 ODIs) and Paranjpe (4 ODIs) have never played Test cricket which the Lodha Panel made mandatory for appointment in senior selection panel which they wanted to be restricted to three members.
The rest of the members, MSK Prasad, Sarandeep Singh and Devang Gandhi are meeting the guidelines formed by Lodha Committee but only have 13 Test match experience among them.
“It’s unlikely that Gagan and Jatin can be kept in selection panel. In any case, I don’t think BCCI is now in a position to get into further confrontation with apex court and it’s appointed panel,” a very senior BCCI office-bearer said.
“If we remove Gagan and Jatin, it will in any case conform with panel’s guidelines of having three ex Test players as senior selectors.
“We have a long home season and you don’t want a situation where you don’t have selectors going into ODIs followed by Test series against England and Australia.”
The SGM on September 30th could be called as the most important meeting of BCCI in recent times as they are facing trouble from left, right and centre. The Lodha panel has given BCCI ample time to clean up the act but BCCI has failed to do its duty.
Supreme Court has taken cognisance of the matter and if BCCI does not follow the findings then it will be a battle that will go a long way and only one party can emerge victorious.