In a new twist in the BCCI Vs Lodha panel case, the Supreme Court today said it is open to include among the Board's administrators names which will be suggested by BCCI and Centre also for "holistic approach".
This meant that the court is not agreeable to blindly accept the names submitted by amicus Gopal Subramanium and another panel member Anil Divan in totto and is willing for wider consultation.The bench was against inclusion of those aged above 70 named in the SC panel's list as it is in violation of Lodha panel recommendations.
A three judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked senior lawyers Arvind Datar and Kapil Sibal for the BCCI and Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi for Centre to submit the names by Friday. The next hearing has been fixed for Monday.
"Ld Counsel appearing for some associations said due to certain inadvertent reason he could not suggest some names to be included as administrators though an opportunity was given. The Centre also is allowed to suggest some names so that there is a holistic approach when this court decides the name of administrators. It is however made clear that the names, their eligibility should be in consonance with the Principal judgment delivered in this matter. This court shall form administrative committee after Sibal and AG submits the names."
The Bench meanwhile also allowed BCCI to submit three names from among its office bearers to represent it at the ICC meeting scheduled for February this year.
The two member SC panel of amicus Gopal Subramaniam and senior lawyer Anil Diwan had on January 20 submitted to the Supreme Court a list of nine names as the administrators of the BCCI after the removal of its President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke for non-implementation of Lodha panel reforms.
However a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra who replaced retired CJI T S Thakur in the bench raised some objections like presence of some 70 plus members among them and that the numbers were too many and there was no need of nine members.
The bench however directed keeping the names in sealed cover and against revealing at this time saying "some consultation within the bench.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the first time against Lodha panel reforms.
He represented the Armed Forces, Railways and Universities, whose associations were given half (associate) membership and no voting rights.
He sought restoration of earlier status and full voting rights.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal (for BCCI) joined Rohatgi in attacking the Lodha panel reccomendations and sensing a chance in retirement of justice of Thakur attacked his original judgment which made the implementation of reforms mandatory.
Coming down heavily on the defiant BCCI brass, the bench headed by then Chief Justice T S Thakur had removed Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke as President and Secretary for obstructing and impeding its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body by implementing the Lodha panel reforms.
Removing the two, the bench said the adminisration of the board will now be overseen by a committee of administrators appointed by the SC.
Acknowledging that it has been forced to take coercive steps to mend matters in the Board, the court ordered that till the committee is formed, its administration will be headed by the senior-most Vice President while the senior-most Joint Secretary will perform the duties of Secretary.
Notwithstanding the curative petitions filed by the BCCI, which was seen as a ruse for continuance of some office bearers, the court set out conditions based on Lodha committee recommendations for their removal--like bar on those 70 years, ministers, civil servants and those in positions beyond 9 years.
The court had also slapped Thakur with contempt and perjury notices for filing a false affidavit over writing to ICC on the issue of autonomy. The President and Secretary and office bearers of BCCI have obstructed the implementation of the final directions of this Court on the basis of a specious plea that its State Associations are not willing to abide by the directions, the bench had said.
It slammed Thakur saying his actions and conduct rendered himself unfit for continuance as President of BCCI and he is liable to be proceeded with for contempt of court for having obstructed and impeded the orders of this Court. The top court issued show cause notice to Thakur to explain as to why he should not be prosecuted under Section 195 read with Section 340 of the CrPC for filing false affidavit before it that he did not sought letter from ICC president Shashank Manohar on the recommendation for appointment of CAG nominee in board would amount to government interference.
The conduct of the President of BCCI in seeking a letter from the President of ICC in August 2016, after the final judgement and Order of this Court, is nothing but an attempt on the part of the head of BCCI to evade complying, with the Order of this Court, the apex court had said while issuing show cause notice to Thakur to respond as to why he should not be proceeded against for the contempt of court.
The apex court said that a committee of administrators shall supervise the administration of BCCI through its Chief Executive Officer and directed that till then the senior-most Vice-President of BCCI shall perform the duties of the President and the Joint Secretary shall perform the duties of Secretary.
Read the order here.
This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.