Be objective, transparent: SC tells BCCI

"You have a complete sway over the game. You are preventing people from the north-eastern states and Bihar," the court told BCCI.

Representative image   -  AP

The Supreme Court on Monday told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it was performing a public duty and has to be “objective, transparent, fair and reasonable” in its functioning with “equal opportunity to all”.

“You must bear that you are discharging public functions. You can’t say I don’t like Bihar Cricket Association or others and it is my choice to have Bihar or not. I will not associate Bihar,” said the Bench, comprising Chief Justice T. S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla.

The Bench, on Monday, appointed Gopal Subramaniam as the amicus curiae to assist the court in the hearing.

“If someone wants to have a career in cricket, there is no way that he can do so without being on the right side of the BCCI,” the bench said, “There are many youngsters aspiring to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli.”

“You have a complete sway over the game. You are preventing people from the north-eastern states and Bihar from being a part of BCCI,” the court said.

The court is hearing the BCCI and its affiliated state associations, which are resisting some of the recommendations of Justice Lodha Committee.

“You are using your undisputed position to reject the people who want to play cricket. Your writ runs even on those who are not playing under you. If you have the right to select team India, then you have to balance competing rights and obligations”, the Bench told senior counsel Arvind Datar, appearing for the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, which is opposing the “one state one vote” recommendation.

“Regardless of the population, in International Cricket Council (ICC) there is a 'one state one vote' rule, then why it should not apply to the BCCI?” the court questioned. “For one fifth of humanity (population of India), BCCI gets the same vote as Sri Lanka.”

“Where are the restrictions? You give three and four votes to Gujarat and Maharashtra deny others. Justice Lodha Committee says remove the restrictions,” Chief Justice Thakur said as senior counsel Datar argued that Lodha recommendation restricted the BCCI.

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