SC pulls up BCCI for delaying reforms

SC pulls up BCCI for delaying reforms

SC pulls up BCCI for delaying reforms

 The Supreme Court on Thursday told the BCCI in unequivocal terms that it would not allow any attempt to prolong reforms in administration of cricket, saying the rules framed by the sports body were neither sacrosanct nor beyond the reach of the court.

A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice F M I Kalifullah pulled up the BCCI for questioning the recommendations of the court-appointed Justice R M Lodha panel, including one state one vote, tenure and age bar and prohibition to the ministers in the body.

After hearing a batch of lawyers representing the BCCI and its state organisations, the bench directed it to submit details of funds allocated to state associations in the last five years. “There have been transfer of Rs 480 crore to these associations in one year. There has to be some credible monitoring mechanism on how this money is used. What development has taken place as far as cricketing infrastructure is concerned,” the bench told the BCCI.

“Also tell us how much fund have you given to states like Manipur or Nagaland. What has been the allocation pattern? We would like to know if some states have been neglected,” the court asked.

As the BCCI’s counsel senior advocate K K Venugopal contended that people like former minister N K P Salve lent leadership and experience in cricket administration, the bench asked, “So just because Salve was there, you want every other minister also to be there? You are finding fault with having a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General on your governing council, but you don’t mind a minister.”

The bench also put the BCCI on dock for raising issue of having a CAG nominee as their conscience keeper. “You say ICC may disenfranchise you. What for? Will they disenfranchise you because you have a person in your committee on the orders of the Supreme Court to check on irregularities?”

With regard to the BCCI’s objection over restriction ads during telecast of matches, bench asked, “Are you considering a viewer’s right to enjoy the game in low priority than your right to earn revenue? The prominent spirit should be viewers’ enjoyment. Do you think Indian team has reached this position because of commercial aspect?”

To the plea of the BCCI and others that they should be allowed to approach the Lodha panel for review of the some of the recommendation, the bench said it would first examine if the issues raised against some of the recommendations of the Lodhal panel can be addressed by the court itself.

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