Supreme Court restrains state cricket units from holding elections

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: July 6, 2018 11:32:10 am

Committee of Administrators, CoA, BCCI, Special General Meeting, SGM, sports news, cricket, Global Express News

Committee of Administrators, CoA, BCCI, Special General Meeting, SGM, sports news, cricket, Global Express News

The Supreme Court will have only future application and will not affect the elections already held for the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).The Supreme Court on Thursday restrained all state cricket bodies from holding elections till it finalised the draft constitution of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). Reserving its order on the question, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also barred High Courts from taking up petitions on the appointment of administrators for state cricket associations. Friday’s order will have only future application and will not affect the elections already held for the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

The apex court had earlier asked state cricket associations and BCCI office-bearers to give their suggestions on the draft constitution to the amicus curiae senior advocate Gopal Subramanium.

The bench would consider them and finalize the constitution, which would be binding on the BCCI. It said, any amendment to the constitution can only be done with the prior sanction of the court, the bench clarified.

Senior counsel representing various state cricket associations urged the court to allow that cricket bodies to follow the law under which they were registered, once the draft was finalized. Senior advocate Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra, said the Lodha panel, which had proposed reforms in the BCCI favoured allowing amendment with three-fourths majority.

The parties contended that the amicus curiea was going beyond the Lodha panel recommendations and the court’s verdict. The Bench rejected this, saying they could not be allowed to change it without the court’s prior permission.

The Lodha panel was formed in January 2015 in the wake of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee report that called for reforms in the BCCI folowing the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.

In its July 18, 2016 verdict, The top court accepted most of the recommendations of the Lodha panel to reform the BCCI in its June 2016 verdict. It also approved the panel’s proposals for ‘one state, one vote’, ‘one member, one post’ and age-cap of 70 years on those occupying BCCI posts.

On Thursday, the Bench refused to get into other issues and said it will consider modifying the decision on ‘one state, one vote’ and interpretation of the cooling-off period for BCCI office bearers later.

Subramanium said he was ready to concede that instead of three there should be five national selectors and Railways should be given full membership. For Gujarat and Maharashtra which have three cricket associations each, he suggested that these associations could be given membership with rotating voting rights.

Cooling-off period

The counsel for Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) opposed the cooling-off period for the office bearers suggested by Justice (Retd) R M Lodha-led panel and said that there should be continuity of experience. He also objected to the age cap of 70 years for the office bearers as suggested by the panel. The bench asked what was the need of the cooling-off period for the office bearers when they were not contesting for the same post.

Justice Chandrachud said, “Lodha panel suggested a cooling off period for the office bearers if they are contesting for the same post. After a tenure in a particular BCCI post, the office bearer may contest elections for another post and then there is no need for a cooling off period in between”.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Haryana and Maharashtra, also objected to Lodha panel recommendation for ban on ministers in BCCI office bearers. “People have elected me and I have served the country. With my experience I have built and created necessary infrastructure for cricket. What harm have I done if I was elected by the people. The court will do great injustice if they are not allowed to become cricket administrators,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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