Hold polls to clear up mess in BCCI

The Supreme Court compounded its error of dismissing the BCCI president, general secretary and other office-bearers with the appointment of a four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to oversee operations in the cricket governing body. The committee is headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai. This is the latest in a series of wrong decisions and unnecessary interventions by the court in the affairs of the BCCI. The claimed reasoning for the court’s actions is that the BCCI needed to be cleansed and its functioning had to be improved. The court does not have any right and power to sack duly elected office-bearers of a legally constituted body and to arbitrarily appoint other people in their place.

The BCCI is a body formed under the Societies Act and its members and office-bearers are to be elected or removed according to the laid down procedures under the Act. It should also be noted that the charges of corruption and malpractices levelled against the office-bearers have not been proved. The court’s intervention in the affairs of the BCCI could only be taken as actions in violation of the Societies Act. The appointment of the Lodha committee by the court was itself flawed. To charge the BCCI with failure to implement the recommendations of that committee, which has no legal standing, was therefore wrong. It is not for the court to run independently constituted professional bodies. Its interventions and directions amount to micro-managing the affairs of the BCCI. The court’s action has created uncertainty and confusion. The CoA did not allow the BCCI joint secretary and treasurer to convene the selection committee meeting for the Test against Bangladesh. There was also confusion on who should attend the ICC meeting and the Supreme Court had to intervene following which the CoA took a decision. The CoA made these moves when the BCCI constitution empowered the joint secretary to convene the meeting and the court had said that the two officials would attend the ICC meeting.

The BCCI is a legal entity and has not done anything so wrong as to have outsiders to run it. It should have been allowed to have its administration conducted by its own elected members and office-bearers. The world’s biggest cricket body is now run by people who have no experience in cricket administration. It is a sad and unenviable state of affairs because the BCCI is in a limbo now and its functioning is in total mess. The Supreme Court needs to withdraw the CoA, allow elections to be held immediately and those who know about cricket should administer so that normal functioning of the BCCI resumes.

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