Fifteen months after the Supreme Court passed the judgment on acceptance of Lodha reforms, yet another hearing on the matter is scheduled on Monday.
On July 18, 2016, the Supreme Court passed its judgment accepting majority of the Lodha Committee recommendations and asking the BCCI to implement the reforms within four to six months. Fifteen months on, the Lodha reforms haven’t been implemented yet and another hearing on the matter is scheduled on Monday.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has prepared a draft BCCI constitution, including the suggestion given by the Lodha Committee “in its entirety” as per the court order. The court had earlier “indicated that three to four aspects (in the Lodha Committee recommendations) shall be debated” and during the last hearing on September 21, it directed the BCCI office-bearers—acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry— to give suggestions with regard to the draft constitution within three weeks.
All there have forwarded their suggestions, basically focusing on four aspects—membership and jurisdiction of members, disqualification of office-bearers, powers and duties of the office-bearers and the CEO and constitution of the apex council.
Amitabh Choudhary in his suggestion has said that the draft constitution has made a departure from the Supreme Court’s principal judgment vis-à-vis the membership and jurisdiction of members. “…the draft rules mark a departure from the directions contained in the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 18th July 2016 (Principal Judgment) which directs that in States which have more than one association recognized as a full member of the BCCI, the full membership shall rotate among the associations on an annual basis and during such period one of the associations would exercise rights and privileges of a full member while the other associations would be relegated as associate members. In the draft Rules, however, it has been provided that only one of the existing full members in the concerned state shall be recognized by the BCCI while the others would be relegated as Associate Members for all time,” Choudhary has written.
Simply put, going by Choudhary’s interpretation, as per the draft rules if the Mumbai Cricket Association, for example, is recognised as a full member from the state of Maharashtra, then the Maharashtra Cricket Association and the Vidarbha Cricket Association would be relegated to Associate status for all time.
The secretary feels that as a “natural consequence” of this, the association chosen by the BCCI to recognised as the full member will “attain a dominant position” and might further the cause of its own players and development at the expense of the “relegated” associations.
Choudhary has also mentioned that “a period of three years is grossly insufficient” for any office-bearer “to make a worthwhile contribution”. As per the draft constitution, an office-bearer will have to go for cooling-off after completing three years, while the whole tenure cap in the BCCI is nine years.
According to the secretary, the balance of power would “heavily tilt towards professional appointees” and the elected office-bearers would have “hardly been left with any supervision or control” if the draft constitution is implemented. Finally, Choudhary has said that the constitution of the apex council as per the draft constitution “may not be sufficient for proper representation of all the member associations… All suggestions are related to the BCCI only and not state associations.”
Meanwhile, former BCCI president Sharad Pawar has appealed to the Supreme Court to review the one state-one vote proposal, recommended by the Lodha Committee.