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Lodha panel row: SC holds back order to name interim board administrators

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:45 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held back an order to name an interim panel of administrators to run the beleaguered Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The interim committee is supposed to oversee the daily matters of the cricket board.

Earlier, the amicus curiae in the matter Gopal Subramaniam submitted nine names for the post of administrators in the BCCI, in a sealed cover to the apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra.

However, the apex court has now hinted that those names suggested by the amicus curiae above 70 years of age would not be considered for the appointment of administrators in the BCCI.

Meanwhile, in an interesting move, the BCCI said it wants to suggest new names to run its administration, to which the apex court asked the country's cricket board to file or suggest names of administrators in a sealed cover.

The three-judge bench also allowed the Centre to suggest names for the committee.

The Centre was represented by Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi, who insisted that the apex court should hold back the order as the government was mulling over a legislation to regulate sports bodies in India.

Rohatgi argued it is due to the Supreme Court's July 18 verdict that India's reputation as a cricket superpower has been badly hit.

Hitting back over his comment, the apex court asked "When we passed the order in July, where were you?"

The apex court now fixed the matter for further hearing till January 30.

Earlier on January 20, Rohatgi asked the Supreme Court to recall the radical reforms suggested by Justice (Retd.) R.M Lodha-led panel in order to bring greater transparency in the BCCI, saying that although the country's cricket board is a private body, it partially affects the government too.

Rohatgi was filing an application on the behalf of the three bodies - Railways, Services, and Universities, who were stripped off their voting rights after the Supreme Court asked the BCCI to implement Lodha committee recommendations.

Talking about the same, the Attorney General had argued that the right of these state associations has been wrongly infringed under Article 19 (1) (c)- freedom to form associations.

Earlier, advocate Anil B. Divan and Gopal Subramaniam had been asked by the apex court to assist in nominating persons of impeccable integrity as members of committee of administrators.

On January 2, the Supreme Court had removed BCCI president Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke from their respective posts for their failure to bring transparency and accountability to the Indian cricket board and their non-compliance of the court's July 18, 2016 order.

In a landmark judgment on July 18 last year, the apex court accepted major recommendations of Justice Lodha-led panel on structural reforms in the BCCI and had given six months deadline to the board to implement the recommendations.

On October 1, the board had accepted many of the "significant recommendations" of the Lodha Committee, but excluded the important ones which have been a bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.

The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.


First published: 24 January 2017, 4:56 IST