Can't government carry out BCCI's public functions, asks Supreme Court

‘Suppose a law, by which the Indian team can be selected by Indian parliament,’ the bench mulled © PTI

Persistent opposition from the BCCI and its member associations to the recommendations made by the Lodha committee have provoked the Supreme Court to observe that public functions relating to cricket can be taken over by the government, with the enactment of a law in parliament.

“Why can’t the public function of BCCI be taken up by parliament?” the two-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla, asked. “The question is if the activity of organising cricket matches, sending and picking up national team, can be taken up by the parliament.

“Suppose a law, by which the Indian team can be selected by Indian parliament.”

The remarks from the bench came after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA), raised opposition to the “one state, one vote” recommendation made by the Lodha panel.

Sibal said there is no restriction on the state to take over activities of the game but it will require a change in the bylaws. He was also of the view that it may not be favourable for parliament to take over the cricketing body.

The same issue was also raised by the bench when the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) made its submission against the recommendation of the “one state, one vote” policy.

The senior advocate representing the MCA also responded to a query from the bench on the recommendation by the Lodha panel to prohibit ministers and government officials from becoming cricket administrators.

The MCA, headed by Sharad Pawar, favoured the involvement of politicians in sporting bodies, saying their presence helped the associations get work done for big sporting events, which require security arrangements from police.

“That is the reality,” the MCA’s advocate said, in response to the bench’s specific query: “Can we only have politicians as advisors? Shouldn’t the system also function without any politician?”

Sibal also faced some sharp questions from the bench about lack of initiative by BCCI on the development of the game in northeastern states like Manipur and Mizoram, as also about the discrimination in allocation of funds to cricket associations of states like Bihar.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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