Anil Divan replaces Nariman to suggest BCCI administrators

The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, appointed senior counsel Anil Divan in place of Fali Nariman for recommending names for the Committee of Administrators to run the BCCI.

A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud named Anil Divan after Fali Nariman requesed himself.   -  S. Subramanium

Wary of conflict of interest, senior advocate Fali Nariman, on Tuesday, asked the Supreme Court to excuse him from the responsibility of finding suitable persons for the Committee of Administrators to run the BCCI.

Nariman said it would be “embarrassing” for him to get involved in the assignment, as he had been BCCI’s lawyer in 2009.

Read: >Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke removed from BCCI

The apex court had commissioned Nariman and senior advocate Gopal Subramanium to provide it “objective assistance” in selecting persons of experience and integrity for the committee.

In a formal order, a Bench of Chief Justice of India T. S. Thakur and Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and D. Y. Chandrachud accepted Nariman's recusal and appointed senior advocate Anil Divan in his place.

“We quite appreciate the difficulty expressed by Mr. Nariman and accordingly discharge him of the role assigned to him. In his place, we request Mr. Anil B. Divan, learned senior counsel, to assist the Court and to recommend suitable names for appointment as members of the committee of administrators in consultation with the amicus, Mr. Gopal Subramaniam,” the order said.

The decision to form the committee was part of an order passed by a Bench of Chief Justice of India T. S. Thakur and Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and D. Y. Chandrachud on January 2, stripping BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke of their posts.

In a major shake-up at the highest echelons of the powerful cricket body, the Supreme Court supported the Justice Lodha panel recommendation to oust BCCI office-bearers and administrators of affiliated State associations who are above 70 years; who are insolvent; who are government ministers and servants; who are office-bearers of other sports and athletic associations; those who have already enjoyed a cumulative period of nine years at the helm of the BCCI and those charged with criminal offences.

Administrators who do not fall under any of these categories of disqualification have been given a deadline of four weeks to fall in line with the Lodha reforms.

“Several office-bearers, both of the BCCI and the State associations continue to hold posts although they stand disqualified in terms of the above norms ... the turf of the cricket field is not a personal turf or fiefdom,” the Supreme Court had observed in Monday’s order.

Once Mr. Subramanium and Mr. Divan give their report to the Supreme Court on the persons suitable for the Committee of Administrators in the next fortnight, the court will pass formal orders to the extent.

Meanwhile, till the committee is formed, the court has ordered the senior-most vice-president of the BCCI to take over as the president and the joint secretary to replace him.

The next hearing is scheduled for January 19, 2017.