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Supreme Court to Take Up CAB Petition Against ‘Divided’ CoA

(PTI Images)

(PTI Images)

This issue is one of the three petitions filed by CAB’s Aditya Verma that will be taken up for arguments at 3 pm in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will take up Cricket Association of Bihar’s (CAB) petition against the Court-appointed Committee of Administrators and the BCCI on Thursday (January 17). The BCCI officials are expected to bring up the issue of divisions within the two-member CoA which currently has chairman Vinod Rai and former India women’s captain Diana Edulji as members.

This issue is one of the three petitions filed by CAB’s Aditya Verma that will be taken up for arguments at 3 pm in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

“On January 30, the CoA will complete two years in power. They have been a total failure so far. Even Justice RM Lodha has criticized the functioning of the CoA. In 2017, a four-man committee was constituted, but two of them quit for various reasons over a year back but since then no replacement has been appointed. The BCCI image is suffering as a result due to clear divisions right from the appointment from Team India’s new coach, clean-chit to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri in a sexual harassment case and now more recently how they handled the Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul episode. I intend to bring these issues to the attention of the honourable Supreme Court,” petitioner Verma told CricketNext.

The CoA on their part are going to ask the SC to appoint an Ombudsman, something they had asked the BCCI to appoint according to their 10th Status Report filed in the SC in October, 2018.

The matter of appointment of Ombudsman has taken significance in light of probe into Pandya and Rahul, who have already given their statement to CEO Johri. According to the new BCCI constitution, Johri now has to submit his preliminary report to the Ombudsman, which the BCCI also want to appoint after 10 members have requested an urgent SGM to be called over the same issue.

“When the CoA was created, Rai was just one of the four votes. As chairman, Rai never had the deciding vote nor does he now. Rai is single-handedly running BCCI and my plea is that CoA should be made a four-member committee again or appoint a separate committee of reputed former India cricketers, who can oversee BCCI till new management takes over. This is one of the three applications,” Verma said.

Some 26 members of the BCCI met in Mumbai last week and decided to raise the same issue in front of the SC and highlight the deep divisions in CoA.

“The members expressed shock at the manner in which decision making was happening in the CoA where the decisions and views of one member were being ignored and the decisions of the other were being executed irregularly despite there being a deadlock in decision making on such decisions. The members were concerned about the resources of the BCCI being wrongfully expended on such irregular decisions being taken,” BCCI members had said about the functioning of the CoA.

“The members expressed shock at the double standards on display in dealing with issues related to players where show cause notices have been issued and the players have been suspended pending enquiry and in dealing with issues relating to the CEO who was not even suspended and in whose case the enquiry procedure adopted was arbitrary and in violation of the BCCI’s constitution and in the absence of any decision from the CoA as a committee,” they further added after the meeting on January 11.

The second petition Verma raised was the clean-chit given to Johri. “Our contention is that the manner in which the investigation is being handled is not right. Johri should not be continuing in his position as CEO,” he said.

Verma’s third petition is related to Bihar cricket body. “CoA is covering up illegal work by this body. Bihar should also have ad-hoc committee like Uttarakhand and Rajasthan till the matter is resolved in the correct manner,” he said.

It is now up to the Supreme Court of this country to decide what action needs to be taken to rectify the mess that Indian cricket administration finds itself in.

first published:January 16, 2019, 14:00 IST