Justice Shah asks BCCI extent of his jurisdiction

The hearing took place in New Delhi on February 15 and the BCCI counsel informed the Ombudsman that that the parent body has no exercise of supervisory jurisdiction, that there was a disciplinary committee which would take action, provided that the issue at hand related to the functioning of the BCCI and not to internal affairs of the affiliated unit, and that if there was a collapse of management in an affiliated unit, the BCCI would constitute a committee to address the issue.

Justice A.P. Shah.   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

The BCCI Ombudsman Justice A.P. Shah has sought to ascertain from the BCCI the extent of his jurisdiction in matters relating to member units.

At a hearing recently wherein the representatives of National Cricket Club, Kolkata, the BCCI and a representative of a complainant against the NCC, Justice Shah asked the BCCI counsel to revert with (a) a copy of the draft amendment of rule 32(iv) as pending approval before the Registrar of Societies, pertaining to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman in matters of misconduct and indiscipline, etc. (b) clarify whether the Ombudsman can take cognisance of matters pertaining to misconduct and indiscipline only against administrators of the BCCI, or also against administrators of affiliated units (c) clarify if there must be a reference from the BCCI on matters of misconduct and indiscipline, or if the Ombudsman can take suo motu cognisance of such matters (d) clarify the action that an aggrieved person/complainant can take if the BCCI takes no cognisance of complaints received by it directly on matters of misconduct and indiscipline and in such cases, if an aggrieved person/complainant approaches the Ombudsman, can the Ombudsman ask the BCCI to take action, and the BCCI thereafter respond to the Ombudsman in this regard.

Justice Shah has also suggested that, “As part of the many reforms that the BCCI has been undertaking over the past several months, it may also direct every affiliated unit to make public, among other things, by way of information provided on its website, its memorandum of association, its articles of association, complete list of members, names and contact details of office bearers/administrators and also information about any relevant court disputes pertaining to any members that may be pending at the time.”

The hearing took place in New Delhi on February 15 and the BCCI counsel informed the Ombudsman that that the parent body has no exercise of supervisory jurisdiction, that there was a disciplinary committee which would take action, provided that the issue at hand related to the functioning of the BCCI and not to internal affairs of the affiliated unit, and that if there was a collapse of management in an affiliated unit, the BCCI would constitute a committee to address the issue.

The minutes of the meeting which Sportstar has accessed, states that “The Ombudsman, while acknowledging that it could not usurp the BCCI's powers with regard to jurisdiction over affiliated units, also stated that it was also not possible for the Ombudsman to turn a blind eye to matters where numerous complaints had been filed with the BCCI in respect of certain affiliated units, but where no action had been taken. In this regard, the Ombudsman proposes that where it appears some allegations pertaining to affiliated units must be looked into, the Ombudsman may recommend that the BCCI take corrective steps (or ask the affiliated unit to do so). The BCCI may respond to this proposal.”

It has been recorded in the minutes that “the representative of the complainant expressed concerns that the BCCI was not likely to do anything even if the Ombudsman re-sent the matter in question for consideration to the BCCI. He stated that his main complaint was against the managing committee of the National Cricket Club (NCC), including Mr. Kajaria, which has been controlling the NCC for over four decades without any change and apparently also without contributing to the cause of cricket.”

The NCC counsel informed the Ombudsman that the office bearers of the NCC have changed since the complaint was made, although the names of the office bearers were not as yet in the public domain.

On his part Justice Shah asked the NCC to make available on its website the names and contact details of the office bearers of the NCC, as well as of the entire member list of the NCC and that the same may be furnished to the Office of the Ombudsman within two days with a copy to the complainant.