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State Associations Seek Permission to Respresent BCCI At ICC Meet

Cricketnext Staff |Cricketnext | Updated: March 6, 2017, 6:42 PM IST
State Associations Seek Permission to Respresent BCCI At ICC Meet

New Delhi: State cricket associations on Monday approached the Supreme Court of India seeking permission from the apex court to hold a special meeting of "elected members" (who are not disqualified) to present Indian board's case in the next ICC meeting.

The state boards argued that they are better equipped to protect the interest of BCCI in the meeting, as opposed to the likes of SC appointed administrator Vikram Limaye, who has represented the BCCI at the last ICC meeting.

The BCCI had rejected a proposal to radically alter the financial and governance structure of the International Cricket Council, a move that would curb its earnings and clout earlier this month. A majority of Test playing nations -- including Australia and England -- had agreed to the proposed restructure at the ICC's headquarters in Dubai.

ALSO READ: BCCI Rejects ICC's Proposal to Trim Revenue at Board Meet

But India and neighbouring Sri Lanka rejected the idea, and unsuccessfully sought to postpone a decision until the next ICC gathering in April. Vikram Limaye, India's representative in Dubai, said the board had insufficient time to "take an informed view" on the proposal.

During the hearing on Monday, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for BCCI, said they should be allowed to hold a meeting with the state associations to deliberate upon the issues which would come up in the upcoming ICC meeting.

He said if these issues are not discussed at the meeting, the government and BCCI would lose a huge amount of money, as it pertained to revenue.

However, senior counsel Parag Tripathi, representing the apex court-appointed Committee of Administrators, opposed the plea and said such a meeting can be allowed only when the state associations gave an undertaking in accordance with the court's direction that they would comply with the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha panel.

To this, the bench said, "Let us get the facts clear. We have nothing to do with the ICC. We are also concerned that India, as a country, should get the best deal, it should get the money".

"Supposing there is a loss, a big loss of money, that has to be taken care of. The issue is how it should be taken care of in the best possible manner," the apex court said.

When the bench said that ICC is a multi-layered body and BCCI is one of its members, Sibal said "but revenue comes from BCCI. 90 per cent revenue comes from the BCCI only".

The bench, however, clarified that it was not going into the fiscal aspect of ICC and BCCI. Sibal argued that a regular member of ICC gets 75 per cent of the revenue while an associate member gets 25 per cent revenue and BCCI is likely to get over Rs 3,000 crore from the ICC as revenue.

At this juncture, the bench told Tripathi, "BCCI says if they can present the facts before the ICC, they can get the revenue." Tripathi, however, said, "those who want to hold a meeting are in defiance of the Supreme Court's order. They have not given the affidavit that they are complying with the Lodha Panel recommendations. They can come to us and tell us all the points".

Sibal countered the submissions and said "we have to hold a meeting. Individual associations can't come to them. We have to meet and arrive at a consensus."

Tripathi told the court that the state associations are bound to give an undertaking and without furnishing the same, they cannot be allowed to hold a meeting.

"They are sitting on huge amount of funds and they do not want to comply with the Supreme Court's order. Let them give the undertaking first," he said, adding, "huge amount of unaccounted money are with them".

Sibal, however, said, "we have lost money due to these things".

At the outset, the bench wanted to know the stand of the central government on the issue. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta said that Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had already informed the bench about the Centre's stand and suggested that a legislation should be there for all sports bodies.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who has been appointed as an amicus curiae in the matter, said the apex court orders made it obligatory for the associations to file the undertaking.

He said that Lodha committee had earlier told the court that nobody was complying with its recommendations and even after the apex court's order, nothing was being complied with.

When Sibal objected to the submissions, Subramanium said, "I am reading it from the reports". Sibal shot back and said, "Report is not a gospel truth.

We will not sign a death warrant just because somebody wants us to sign it."

"Let them (Committee of Administrators) go to the ICC and negotiate with it. But they should give an undertaking in the court that BCCI and the government will not lose money. Let them handle it but no money should be lost," Sibal said.

The bench said it would hear the arguments on this issue on March 20. On January 30, the apex court had appointed a four-member committee of administrators headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai to run BCCI's affairs and implement court-approved recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel on reforms in the cash-rich cricket body.

Other three members of the committee of administrators include historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, IDFC Managing Director, and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: March 6, 2017, 6:22 PM IST

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