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CoA Pulls Up BCCI Office-bearers in Ninth Status Report Ahead of SC Hearing

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: July 5, 2018, 8:26 AM IST
CoA Pulls Up BCCI Office-bearers in Ninth Status Report Ahead of SC Hearing

File image of Vinod Rai. (Getty Images)

New Delhi: Even as the Supreme Court resumes hearing the BCCI matter on Thursday, the Committee of Administrators have filed a ninth status report and made scathing remarks against board office-bearers. The report elaborates efforts made by the BCCI officials to hamper the smooth implementation of the Lodha reforms that the apex court had passed in an order in 2016. The status report was filed by the CoA on July 2.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud will hear the matter. The last hearing on the matter was held on May 11 where the court had asked the Amicus Curae (Gopal Subramanium) to share the suggestions of the draft constitution with all state associations.

In the report, accessed by CricketNext, the CoA has not only pointed at the Special General Meeting held by the working body as an attempt to try and disrupt the decisions taken by the committee, but has also written how the treasurer and other office-bearers have cited ‘matter of policy’ to evade approving decisions of the CoA and then got them overruled in the SGM – such as the format of the 2018-19 domestic season.

Reacting to the status report, one of the office-bearers said: “It appears that conjectures have given rise to the narrative of some of the averments of the report rather than facts.”

The CoA feels that the office bearers of the BCCI in collusion with other members are attempting to subvert and frustrate the orders passed by the SC by inserting limitations on the powers and duties of the committee. As per the report, they are trying to draw an artificial distinction between ‘management’ and ‘administration’ as well as implementation of the judgment on one hand and ‘matters of policy nature’ on the other.

That is followed by characterizing any decision that is not palatable to the board officials as a matter of ‘policy’ which they claim falls within the ‘exclusive domain’ of the general body so as to ensure that ‘management and administration’ is effectively reduced to following the diktats of the general body.

The committee also presented the example of dilly-dallying with the signing of the player contracts by the acting secretary despite knowing that the previous contracts were expiring on September 30. With the CoA then preparing a fresh contract and circulating it to the finance committee, the finance team still failed to provide its views till February 2018. The CoA has revealed that they were then forced to announce fresh contracts keeping the welfare of the players in mind, but even then the secretary didn’t sign on the pretext that it had to be approved by the general body.

The CoA feels the above sequences of events demonstrate that the pre-report and pre-judgment processes cannot be relied upon to ensure that management and administration of the board is carried out in a manner contemplated by the report and the judgment.

Commenting on the overall report, another official said: “It is very clear from the status report and the decision sought by the amicus that certain entities don’t wish for this embroilment to end anytime soon. In fact, they want the CoA in place for a considerable amount of time. It appears that there has been a strong effort to transform this litigation into an adversarial litigation rather than making a sincere effort to come to a reasonable conclusion in the interest of the game of cricket. The effect of this will not be immediately felt, but will definitely be felt over a period of three to four years.”

Earlier on May 1, the bench had asked the state cricket associations and BCCI office-bearers to give their suggestions on the draft constitution of the apex cricket body. The bench also reiterated that the finalisation of the draft constitution would depend on its order.

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First Published: July 4, 2018, 8:36 PM IST

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