Shaky ground for BCCI as Supreme Court refuses disbursement of funds
Aniruddha Choudhury 27 Oct 2016

Shaky ground for BCCI as Supreme Court refuses disbursement of funds

India’s premier cricketing body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI, suffered a setback last week as the Supreme Court ruled that the body will be restrained from disbursing funds to state cricket associations, unless the state associations agree to comply with the recommendations of the Lodha panel.

In order to do so, they will have to pass a resolution along with an affidavit, which will have to get approval from the Lodha panel.

It was also held that funds which have already been disbursed will have to be kept in a fixed deposit and could not be put to use. BCCI has disbursed Rs. 16.72 crore each to 13 state cricket associations, all of which cannot be out to use.

Apart from this, the court has pulled up Anurag Thakur, President of BCCI, asking him to submit an affidavit asking him to explain if he had asked the CEO if the International Cricket Council, ICC to try to stay the Lodha panel reforms.

The ruling came a day after the board had submitted to the court that state associations had failed to put in place reforms proposed by the panel headed by former chief justice of India R.M. Lodha. The court had given an ultimatum saying that it would pass an order freezing BCCI’s funds if the board did not agree to give an unconditional undertaking agreeing to follow the reforms.

This is one of the steps that the apex court has taken to ensure compliance with the reforms suggested by the Lodha committee which aims to clean up cricket administration in the country.

Key recommendations of the Lodha panel include a “one state, one vote” formula that would restrict states with multiple cricket associations to one vote, ban on civil servants and ministers serving on BCCI and state associations and an age cap of 70 years for BCCI office-bearers.

In July, the court gave BCCI six months to implement the changes, some of which the board has resisted. Time and again, BCCI has refrained from complying with the reforms suggested and has conveyed the same.

In a meeting held on 1 October, BCCI blatantly refused to accept the “one state, one vote” policy, ban on civil servants and age cap. It however, accepted the induction of the representative of Comptroller and Auditor General, CAG, as the member of its apex council.

The court was also miffed by BCCI’s appointment of a committee headed by former apex court judge Markandey Katju to deliberate with the Lodha committee on some key reforms that BCCI is opposed to.

Non acceptance of the Lodha panel reforms in its entirety along with violation of various recommendations after the order has been passed left the court with no choice but to push harder for enforcement of Lodha reforms.

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