New Delhi: The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud is going to hear the matter against the BCCI in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The last time the matter came up for hearing was in November 2017. While there are various allegations and counter-allegations that are set to come up during the hearing, especially with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) asking for the removal of all BCCI office bearers, the board is waiting to see the decision bench takes in regards to the future of CoA chief Vinod Rai.
Rai turns 70 on May 23 and the order of the SC dated July 18, 2016, had directed the BCCI to adhere to the recommendations of Justice RM Lodha and the retired Justice had put an age cap of 70 years on all cricket administrators. The BCCI feels that it will be interesting to see if Rai does recuse himself from carrying out further duties as the head of the CoA. Rai was put in charge by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mishra in January 30, 2017.
Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official cited the recent decision of the CoA — in their meeting on April 12 — when they decided that current NCA chairman Niranjan Shah stands disqualified to chair NCA meetings as he has attained the age of 70.
“The CoA on April 12 decided that a person who is not a citizen of India, a person who has attained the age of 70 years, a person who has is declared to be insolvent, or of unsound mind, a person who is a minister or government servant, a person who holds any office or post in a sports or athletic association or federation apart from cricket, a person who has been an office bearer of the BCCI for a cumulative period of 9 years and a person who has been charged by a Court of Law for having committed any criminal offence shall not be permitted to be part of any committee/sub-committee of BCCI. Neither the Supreme Court Judgment dated 18.07.2016 nor any order subsequent there to envisages a situation where these disqualifications that apply to office bearers apply to members of a committee of the BCCI.
“What strikes at the hollow roots of the said decision is the apparent intent of the committee to selectively apply the decision in cases where the subject is someone the committee may be displeased with or whose views the committee may not agree with. As per the communication regarding the NCA board, the decision was taken by the committee on April 12. However, on April 17, Prakash Dixit, who has crossed 70 attended the meeting of the Infrastructure Development Committee and deliberated on all the items on the agenda in the presence of Rahul Johri and subsequently, in the meeting of the committee for the selection of recipients of the BCCI Awards, N Ram, who has also crossed 70 was also allowed to attend. So what happens in case of Rai?” the official enquired.
Clearly, observers feel that the CoA has time and again taken decisions that are not in their mandate and that is something that the BCCI would like to bring to the notice of the apex Court.
Also, the Maharashtra Cricket Association has filed an application after the CoA in its eighth status report said that the MCA had agreed to abide by the Lodha committee’s recommendations and have failed to do so. MCA on their part feel that they have complied to a greater extent than some of the other associations who have been given the green signal by the CoA.
Separately, a contempt petition has also been filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar against CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary as the CAB secretary Aditya Verma feels that the BCCI didn’t include teams from Bihar in the Vijay Hazare Trophy despite the order of the SC. Also, Verma feels that players from Bihar were purposefully not offered to IPL franchises.
Another interesting aspect will be to see who represents the state associations after Kapil Sibal refused to appear in Chief Justice Dipak Mishra’s court.