Amitabh Choudhary: 'We are not doing personal errands'

The fresh directives of the CoA has heavily curtailed the powers of the BCCI office-bearers.

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and other office-bearers are at loggerheads with the CoA.   -  PTI

There has been a sudden flare up between the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary - after the fresh directives of the CoA curtailed powers of the board's office-bearers, which made Choudhary 'humbly' lash out at the CoA for not taking him and others into confidence.

Read: Amitabh Choudhary cancels visit to Colombo

In an interview, Choudhary talks about a few issues that has made the BCCI administration wobbling and going out of control, especially after the January 2, 2017 order of the Supreme Court that removed then BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke because both were proving to be impediments to implement the Justice Lodha reforms.

Excerpts:

Is everybody interpreting the Supreme Court order correctly... especially empowering the CoA to supervise the BCCI administration through the CEO?

The Supreme Court order of January 2, 2017 was basically capping the judgment of July 18, 2016. The two were linked. The order was also a great expression of unhappiness that the July 18 order (relating to the Justice Lodha Committee reforms in cricket) was not being complied with. The order also said a CoA must come into being. The CoA, if they needed to be appointed, it was on account of the cricket reforms not being complied with and to ensure that they are implemented.  The order also said that the CoA will supervise the administration of the BCCI. So the supervision meant was to basically to facilitate the primary objective of the BCCI implementing the Lodha reforms.

The office bearers have been virtually taken out of the BCCI administration now.

I don’t want to comment on individuals, but we are not doing personal errands. The jobs are clearly delimited by orders of the highest court of the country. The orders are crystal clear. In fact for reasons best not known to me and apparently when there was some ambiguities, the Supreme Court came back to say there was no ambiguity in the order and that it was as clear as a cloudless sky. So when there is a cloudless sky, one must see the cloudless sky, not the clouds.

The BCCI is working under two constitution. You and the other two office bearers have been elected under the old one with well defined powers.

The powers of the office bearers are laid down in the constitution. After the Supreme Court order, the CoA has to supervise the functioning of the office bearers, and it would certainly get modified to an extent. But that doesn’t mean that the office bearers are not there. The Court itself had taken the pains on January 2, 2017 to decide on who will be the president and secretary. The treasurer was there. It said that the BCCI will function through its office bearers under the supervision of the CoA in a particular background which was expeditious implementation of the reforms. So the two are related, it cannot be said they are not.

It's quite bizarre that the BCCI is being administered under two constitutions and both are on the website.

I will not put any adjective there, the January 2, 2017 order has slightly altered the situation. The Court, however, has agreed to hear parties and felt that there could be areas of impracticalities and asked us to examine them. We are on it.

You refused to sign certain documents and contracts, events that perhaps led to the flash point.

The BCCI constitution is in force and hence I have to abide by that. They must have sanction of the appropriate authorities and forums. I was in the dark. If I sign an appointment letter, I must be responsible for that. It would be imprudent of me to sign those documents.

The tour programme fixtures committee took decisions today, but it has been sent to the CoA.

We have to apprise the CoA of all Committee decisions. That’s perfectly fine and can be included in supervision. What is not included in supervision is supplanting someone. It’s not phonetics or lexicography. Everybody can make that out.

Tour reports should be sent to the president... is it not?

Normally it should. The secretary is the cutting edge, so it should come to him also. That's been the practice always.

How are you going to function from now on? Tough days ahead.

It's going to be very difficult. Well, no day is easy.