CoA seeks directions to make BCCI toe the line

In a scathing status report, the Committee of Administrators has observed the BCCI wasn’t interested in implementing the Supreme Court-ordered reforms due to vested interests.

The CoA minced no words that the BCCI was in contempt of the Supreme Court.   -  AFP

The latest status report by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has not only questioned the Board of Control for Cricket in India's efforts and intentions in implementing the Supreme Court-ordered reforms but also sought directions to remove the current office-bearers for ‘flouting the orders with impunity.’

The fifth status report, submitted on Wednesday, has pulled no punches in stating that the BCCI and its member associations were not interested in implementing any of the reforms because of vested interests and had been in contempt of the SC.

Expenses on honorary office-bearers (for 2016-17 till June 2017):

Anurag Thakur (president): Rs. 24,01,617 (without air-travel)

C. K. Khanna (acting-president): Rs. 6,52,084

Amitabh Choudhary (acting-secretary): Rs. 1,56,01,993

Anirudh Chaudhry (acting-treasurer): Rs. 1,71,58,330

Administrative staff: Rs. 4,62,11,973

“The current office-bearers of the BCCI have demonstrated scant regard for the directions issued by the CoA and continue to flout the same with impunity. Since the previous president and secretary (Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke) had been removed (in January 2017) for failing to implement the reforms mandated by the (SC) judgement despite a period of six months having elapsed, it is only fair that the current office-bearers be treated in the same manner [and] cease and desist from being associated with the workings of the BCCI,” the CoA has stated in its scathing report.

Contempt

The CoA minced no words that the BCCI was in contempt of the SC. “Describing these issues (the reforms) as “impracticable” or “difficult” is nothing short of a gross abuse/contempt of the court order and ought to attract appropriate consequences,” it said.

Seeking further directions from the SC for the implementation of the reforms, the CoA sought revision of electoral rolls in states under the supervision of an administrator and a forensic audit of each association. “The CoA submits that, unless the SC issues appropriate directions, the judgement of this court will remain a writ in sand and the implementations of reforms mandated will never see the light of the day,” it wrote.

That's not all. The CoA also accused certain individuals of “treating state associations as personal fiefdoms” with vested interest in maintaining the status quo and feared they might “make changes to the membership to ensure they continue to remain in control.”

“It is clear that the BCCI members have no desire to implement the reforms...because they are aware that once reforms are implemented at the BCCI level, it is only a matter of time before the member associations will be required to adopt measures relating to transparency and accountability, specially in respect of the funds they receive from the BCCI. Those who have been occupying positions for a long time have a vested interest in ensuring this doesn't happen,” it claimed.

Ploy

The cause for CoA's harsh words was the Special General Meeting of the BCCI on July 26 that saw the state associations resist the adoption or implementation of the reforms, as recommended by the Justice Lodha committee, and indicate their inability to do so any time in near future.

“The SC order (of July 24) was deliberately and completely misconstrued by the BCCI general body during the SGM...first the BCCI CEO (Rahul Johri) and other administrative staff was asked to leave the meeting on the basis that they were not office-bearers...it appears the intention was also to ensure that the CoA would not receive a first-hand account of the proceeding...Even fundamental issues such as conflict of interest rules and appointment of ombudsman were not implemented. The decision to ask the CEO and other staff to leave was preplanned and orchestrated. It is obvious that the whole idea was to stonewall the fundamental core of the reforms and make the same a dead letter,” the report stated.

Highlighting the double standards adopted by the BCCI, the CoA claimed that, “If the court's direction that only office-bearers can attend the meeting applied to BCCI as well, then the two vice-presidents who attended the meeting (TC Mathew and Goutam Roy) should have also been asked to leave because the definition of office-bearers in the existing BCCI constitution does not include VPs”.

The administrators also listed examples of the BCCI's complete disregard to the CoA's directions. “The CoA had, on June 16, suggested the names of six retired judges of SC and requested the BCCI general body to appoint one of them as ombudsman...no appointment was made at the SGM. The CoA had on June 13 sent a copy of the new BCCI Conflict of Interest rules to the constituent members [but] the SGM failed to adopt the same. It also failed to adopt the new fund disbursement policy in line with the recommendations,” it said.