New Delhi: In yet another setback for the Board of Control for Cricket in India members, the Supreme Court of India has issued a showcause notice to the board's top brass, acting president CK Khanna, secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, to explain why the Lodha Committee recommendations have not been implemented.
The apex court has also asked the Committee of Administrators to make a new draft of the BCCI constitution and place it in front of the bench. It has also asked the BCCI trio to be present in the court for the next hearing on September 19.
This comes after the Committee of Administrators in a scathing report submitted to the Supreme Court on August 16 had sought the removal of the entire top brass of the Board of Control for Cricket in India for non-compliance of Lodha Panel reforms.
Speaking to Cricketnext, one of the top BCCI officials said that they will provide the reason for the delay in implementation of the Lodha reforms.
"We will send in our respective replies to the apex court, telling them why exactly there has been a delay," the official said on conditions of anonymity.
In the fifth status Report, the CoA had asked the apex court to hand over the "governance, management and administration" of the BCCI to them, further stating that they would need the help of a professional group, currently headed by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, to run the board.
"...it is only fair that the current office-bearers be treated in the same manner because a further period of six months have elapsed since the said office-bearers submitted their undertakings and reforms mandated by Hon'ble Court have still not been implemented.
"It is clear that current office-bearers are not in position to make good on their undertakings and ensure that reforms mandated by this Hon'ble Court is implemented."
The SC-appointed Committee of Administrators further pulled up the Board of Control for Cricket in India for deliberately misconstruing the apex court’s order dated July 24 and barring the CEO Rahul Johri and the legal team from attending the Special General Meeting on July 26.
In what is quoted as a supplement to the previous status report dated July 9, 2017, the COA has said that the BCCI officials also used the apex court’s expression of ‘etc’ with regards to looking into some of the reforms suggested by the Lodha committee to their advantage and included a series of issues aimed at unravelling the fundamental core of the reforms mandated by the SC.
“First, the CEO of BCCI as well as the administrative staff including the legal team was asked to leave the meeting on the basis that they are not office bearers. Secondly, the totally neutral expression ‘etc’ was treated as an excuse to bring in a series of issues aimed at unravelling the fundamental core of the reforms mandated by this Hon’ble Court including disqualification of office bearers, constitution of apex council, clear demarcation of functions, powers, duties and obligations between professional management and Apex Council, etc,” the report stated.
The COA has also pulled up the BCCI for not looking into basic issues like ‘conflict of interest’ and the appointment of Ombudsman. “Even fundamental issues such as conflict of interest rules and appointment of Ombudsman were not implemented during the SGM held on July 26, 2017. It is obvious that the whole idea was to stonewall the fundamental core of reforms mandated by this Hon’ble Court and make the same a dead letter.
“It appears that the intention was also to ensure that the Committee of Administrators would not receive a first-hand account of the proceedings during the SGM and hence the CEO of BCCI and other administrative staff including the legal team were asked to leave the meeting,” the report said.
“The CEO was asked to leave despite clear directions from the CoA to the effect that the CEO shall be entitled to attend every SGM and other meetings of the BCCI. The office bearers of the BCCI, instead of reprimanding the constituent members who were suggesting that BCCI officials including the CEO leave the meeting, did absolutely nothing.”
The report also states that DDCA administrator, Justice (Retd) Vikramjit Sen, also pointed out during the SGM that BCCI is "acting contrary" to the Lodha Committee Report.
The COA also submitted that apart from issues pertaining to membership and selection committees (reducing it from 5 to 3), other issues identified during the SGM held on July 26 form the fundamental core of the reforms mandated by the Supreme Court judgement of July 18, 2016.
The report states: "Describing these issues as "impracticable" or "difficult" is nothing short of "gross abuse/contempt of the court order dated July 24, 2017 and ought to attract appropriate consequences."
The status report also mentions about BCCI's failure to appoint an Ombudsman since Justice AP Shah's tenure ended in September, 2016. The COA mentioned that despite giving the BCCI names of six retired judged, it entrusted the office bearers to take a call.
The other issue mentioned is "failure to adopt new conflict of interest" rules.
The report mentions that there has been resistance to adopt a new fund disbursement policy as the addition of members would reduce the share of the existing units.