Supreme Court adjourns review petition hearing

The Supreme Court is likely to hear the BCCI’s review petition, which challenges the July 18 order that approved the recommendations of the Lodha Committee, in two weeks © India Today Group/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of the review petition filed by the BCCI in August challenging the July 18 order that approved the recommendations of the Lodha Committee. The court was to consider the review petition on Tuesday, but a two-judge bench comprising TS Thakur, the Chief Justice of India, and Justice SA Bobde, decided to defer their decision. The bench is likely to hear the matter in two weeks behind closed doors.

In the review plea, BCCI had called the court order “unreasoned”. It also accused Chief Justice Thakur, who was part of the two-judge bench that passed the July 18 order, of having a “prejudiced” approach and said he should “recuse” himself.

On Monday, a three-judge bench of the court had reserved its order on the status report filed by the Lodha Committee asking for the removal of all the BCCI office-bearers (president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer under the board’s existing constitution).

During the course of Monday’s two-hour hearing, BCCI legal counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that his client needed at least three more months to implement the reforms suggested by the Lodha Committee. Sibal also told the court that the Lodha Committee had crossed the lines of its terms as some of its actions suggested.

“It is as if the Lodha Committee wants to run cricket and that is not the purpose of its formation by this court… The committee is going beyond the judgment,” Sibal was quoted as saying by The Hindu. “These are our administrative issues.”

Ever since the Lodha Committee released its recommendations on January 4, the BCCI has maintained that it will not adopt some of the reforms. The BCCI then dared the court by defaulting on the first deadline of September 30, set by the Lodha Committee for the board and the state association to fulfill the first set of timelines.

At the October 1 SGM, and then at an emergency meeting held last Saturday, the BCCI reiterated that it could not implement the recommendations unconditionally as ordered by the court unless it gained a two-thirds majority among the 30 state associations. The BCCI has said it is totally against some of the recommendations: one-state-one-vote, which it contends would rob votes for members that belong to states that have more than one team; having an age cap of 70 for administrators; and a cooling-off period of three years between each of the three terms allowed for an administrator.

On Monday, Sibal told the court that the one-state-one-vote was a “remedy” far worse than the “disease”.

“One State One Vote will lead to greater corruption,” Sibal said, according to The Hindu. “You have taken away the votes of some of our founding members… those who have been deeply involved in cricket from the 1930s and given it to some States which have no infrastructure to conduct cricket. You have taken away a Bombay vote and given it to Arunachal. If you distribute votes according to territory, let’s say Nagaland where nobody is willing to spend for cricket, it will not work.

“I have only one request… allow cricket to expand according to its own principles… Again, I repeat, I personally feel that the remedy will be worse than the disease… this the future will show.”

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Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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