The BCCI is contemplating changing its Ombudsman or Ethics Officer once Justice (Retd) Ajit Prakash Shah completes his one-year term in November. When Shashank Manohar was at the helm as President, the BCCI had appointed the former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court and Madras High Court, Justice Shah as its Ombudsman. The change could be made at the BCCI’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) here on September 21.
The Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee has recommended a tenure of three terms of one year each for the Ethics Officer and the Ombudsman. While the Lodha Committee had recommended the appointment of the Ethics Officer 'for the purpose of guidance and resolution in the instances of conflict of Interest', and the Ombudsman 'for the purpose of providing an independent dispute resolution mechanism', the BCCI-appointed Justice Shah served as the Ombudsman to arbitrate on conflict of interest issues and grievances against members and administrators.
Sources close to the Ombudsman’s office said that Justice Shah may have received close to 60 conflict of issues complaints, majority of which could be deemed as frivolous. The Ombudsman’s office recently received a complaint against Sachin Bajaj who is an executive committee member of the Cricket Club of India.
On the administration side, a couple of months ago the BCCI handed over papers related to the suspension of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) to the Ombudsman’s office. The matter is in the court, but yet the BCCI has asked Justice Shah to study the case and adjudicate on it. The RCA has submitted its reply and Justice Shah is likely to call both the RCA and BCCI for a hearing some time in September.
While multiple sources revealed that Justice Shah may be on his way out after a one year term, it would be interesting to see if the Justice Lodha Committee would intervene and find out if the BCCI was in the process of considering to change its Ombudsman.
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