The Supreme Court in an order on Friday confined the disqualification rules under the Lodha Committee reforms for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) member associations to office-bearers, clearing the air for a large number of individuals involved in their administration.
According to the order issued by a bench comprising Justices Sharad Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, office-bearers as defined by an association’s bylaws are not eligible for election to its apex council if they had held the position for successive terms aggregating six years or had completed a cumulative period of nine years.
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Since the Supreme Court on July 18, 2016, accepted the Lodha Committee’s report on reforming Indian cricket administration, members of managing committees, executive committees and governing bodies at the state associations believed they were ineligible to run for the apex councils. Those who had completed six successive years in their posts were told they were entering a cooling-off period of three years, and those who had completed a total of nine years were told it was the end of their innings in administration at the state level.
The Supreme Court order will allow committee members to hold their positions for another three-year term as councillors, thus marking the first of the maximum of three three-year terms with the cooling-off period coming after the second term.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators – that looks into the day-to-day management of the BCCI – had issued directions on August 27 and September 16 regarding eligibility and disqualification rules. These were met with some resistance as some member associations said they were not part of the Lodha panel reforms approved by India’s top court.
Under the reforms, the associations are required to elect an apex council, but it is not known if all the states will be allowed to have more than nine members in them. P. S. Narasimha, the amicus in the matter, will have a big say in many matters of the apex council elections. The next set of directions from the Committee of Administrators should make matter clearer.