SC accepts major recommendations of Lodha panel on BCCI overhaul

SC grants six months to BCCI to reform itself under just Lodha's supervision
SC accepts major recommendations of Lodha panel on BCCI overhaul
SC accepts major recommendations of Lodha panel on BCCI overhaul
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No minister or government official can be an office-bearer of the national cricketing body, the Supreme Court on Monday said in a major setback to the BCCI while it also accepted the Lodha Committe recommendation of one state one vote for representation at the BCCI.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur in a verdict on Monday said that a person cannot be simultaneously a office-bearer in state cricket association as well as in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The ruling could affect BCCI President Anurag Thakur who also heads the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA).

Chief Justice Thakur said that Maharashtra and Gujarat which have four and three associations respectively affiliated to the BCCI will now have one permanent representative by rotation and others will be associate members.

The court also accepted the Lodha Committe recommendation for a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on the BCCI board.

On the question of bringing the BCCI within the ambit of Right to Information Act, the court left it for parliament to take a call.

However, the court refused to interfere with the BCCI in respect of awarding broadcasting rights and the funding of the state associations.

Giving six months' time to the BCCI to transit to a new regime, the court said Justice Lodha Committee will oversee the transition.

Responding to the Court’s ruling, Justice RM Lodha expressed confidence that BCCI would implement the recommendations at the earliest.

During the hearing which started in March, BCCI had been averse to some of the recommendations of the panel and had objected to suggestions such as the one state-one vote, age and tenure cap on office-bearers and CAG nominee on its board.

The apex court-appointed Lodha Committee had on January 4 recommended sweeping reforms and an administrative shake-up at the troubled BCCI, suggesting that ministers be barred from occupying positions, a cap put on the age and tenure of the office-bearers and legalising betting.

Some of the state cricket associations, former players Kirti Azad, Bishen Singh Bedi and cricket administrators also approached the apex court with regard to the implementation of Lodha panel recommendations in BCCI.

The three-member panel, also comprising former apex court judges Ashok Bhan and R V Raveendran, had suggested that one unit should represent only one state, while taking away the voting rights of institutional and city-based units.

It suggested restructuring of the BCCI's administrative set-up and proposed a CEO to run daily affairs of the Board who will be accountable to a nine-member apex council.

Among the most sensational suggestions of the Lodha panel was the one on legalising betting. It felt that the move would help curb corruption in the game and recommended that except for players and officials, people should be allowed to place bets on registered websites.

Among other steps, the panel said that to ensure transparency in BCCI's functioning, it was important to bring the body under the purview of the RTI Act, something that the Board has vehemently opposed in the past citing autonomy.

(Agency Inputs)

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