Continuing to slam the BCCI, the Supreme Court today said the constitution of BCCI is highly incapable of achieving the values of transparency, objectivity and accountability.
A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur which has embarked on a mission to bring about sweeping reforms in the structure, functioning and composition of the board backed by the Lodha panel report said “the objective of transparency, objectivity and accountability” can only be obtained by changing its constitution.
“The inherent constitution of BCCI is such that it is highly incapable of achieving the values of transparency, objectivity and accountability that without changing its structure it can't be done so”, a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice F M I Kalifulla said.
SUBRAMANIUM BACKS REFORMS
The remarks were made after Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who was appointed as amicus curiae by the apex court to assist it on the issue, said if the constitution of BCCI does not allow the values to be achieved then it could be said to be illegal as the cricket board is discharging public function.
“You discharge public function but you want to enjoy private status. If you have public persona then you have to shed private persona. This cannot be done. It selects national team for the country, it cannot be a private society. It is a public entity”, Subramaniam said.
Justifying the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha panel for large-scale structural reforms, he said had the BCCI adhered to the constitutional values there would not have been need for recommendations.
Recommendations are in right directions and the steps are in right direction to ensure that constitutional values are adhered to ensure institutional integrity, he said, adding that BCCI is the beneficiary of the recommendations of Justice Lodha-led committee and if they are implemented it will help ensuring the credibility of the institution.
The bench asked Subramaniam as how it connects the two points that states which were earlier deprived of voting rights will have now while the recommendation takes away from those already had.
The amicus curiae said the only ground which connects the two aspects is parity and every state should have been given equal opportunity. He also suggested that in IPL governing council, members of franchise should also be included to bring in more transparency.
On April 8, the the BCCI had again came under fire from Supreme Court for maintaining that any judicial interference in its functioning would compromise its autonomy with the Supreme Court sternly asking it why it was stonewalling attempts to include CAG within its governing council but was pleading for permitting politicians and government officials within its fold
“You say a CAG nominee in BCCI is defiance of ICC rules as they will not accept a government nominee. But you want a government minister on board? You say Lodha panel report will affect your fundamental character and memberships. You mean to say you refuse to be reformed?” CJI asked BCCI’s lawyer K K Venugopal.
On April 5, the court had pulled up the BCCI over fund allocations to the state association said the money disbursement pattern was akin to a “mutually beneficial society”
The court also went to the extent of accusing the BCCI of “corrupting its members” by not seeking any explanation on how crores of rupees allotted to them were being used.
A bench headed by justice T S Thakur expressed anger that the cash-rich sports body was resisting recommendations to reform and make its working transparent and visible.
The apex court also expressed its displeasure over BCCI's stand that being a private and autonomous body, it cannot accommodate a nominee of CAG in it as suggested by the Justice R M Lodha Panel on the ground that it would be derecognised from the International Cricket Council (ICC).