BCCI runs for cover as SC wants full implementation of Lodha panel report

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Cleansing process Supreme Court appointed a panel involving retired Chief Justice of India RM Lodha (center), Ashok Bhan (left) and RV Raveendran (right) to look into the IPL 2013 scandal. Photo: AFP
Cleansing process Supreme Court appointed a panel involving retired Chief Justice of India RM Lodha (center), Ashok Bhan (left) and RV Raveendran (right) to look into the IPL 2013 scandal. Photo: AFP

What is seen as a big blow to the BCCI and its ways of running the game the Supreme Court  in its order has directed it to “fall in line” with recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha Committee which has suggested massive restructuring of the cricket body.

The bench comprising  Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice F M I Kalifulla said the recommendations are “straight, rational and understandable” and “deserve respect” and “there is no reason to disagree with the committee” which has the most “illuminated and respected members of the legal community”

While four weeks time was granted to the BCCI — the matter was posted for further hearing on March 3 — to respond on the implementation of the recommendations of the Lodha committee, the court made it clear that since ample opportunity was given to all stakeholders over a long period and their views were taken into consideration before preparing the final report, there should not be any difficulty in accepting the recommendations.

The remarks by the bench came after senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, representing the BCCI, said there was need to consult the 30-odd members of the board on the recommendations and in view of its legal committee’s meeting on February 7, four weeks be allowed to respond.

But the bench said “they all have been heard and have given their views to the committee. Ask your client to take a strict view of the recommendations. You can’t jump the gun. You must see the recommendations. These recommendations deserve respect… The best thing is to fall in line and follow the suggestions to save the trouble”.

The bench agreed with the report that there was no need of representation of vice-presidents from all the five zones and there should be a three-year cooling off period after every tenure, restricted tenures for office-bearers (not more than nine years), no more proxy voting and pruning of number of vice-presidents from five to one. States like Bihar and Union Territories hitherto unrepresented would get domestic teams and votes in the board.

The apex court-appointed Lodha Committee on January 4 recommended sweeping reforms and an administrative shake-up for the troubled BCCI by suggesting that ministers be barred from occupying positions and legalisation of betting.